One of the most common graduation presents for a recent graduate is a new computer. Of course finding a new computer is a bit of a challenge looking forward into a young adult’s future, and buying the proper graduation gift, particularly a computer, is something that requires some planning and foresight.
What Gift To Buy for Graduation
If you’re buying a new computer for a graduate, be sure you know what sort of interests and ideas the graduate has for the new machine. Is the graduate a gamer and needs a large system to support online games? Is the graduate going to travel frequently back and forth from school next year and needs a laptop for portability? Would a desktop be too large for a dorm desk? Would a laptop get lost with a less-than-responsible teen? Know your child before buying anything.
Research Computers as a Graduation Gift
When you start delving into the huge array of computers available, you’ll be looking at all kinds of brands and models. From a Dell Laptop or Dell Studio 15 to a Sony Vaio, there are seemingly endless brands and options available to enhance those brands. Look for a model that supports your child best and then add features you know he might need when he heads to school or into whatever is next for the child. Having Microsoft Office is essential as some programming software might be for students looking at a programming or design degree.
Make a Graduation Gift Purchase
With so many great financing options available for new computers, it’s easy to find a machine to buy and to get a great deal with financing as well. Add the necessary software and consider strongly buying accessories such as a printer or optical mouse. Knowing that your child has everything he needs will help when it’s time for your child to move on into his life leaving you in a new phase of life as well.
Easy Step By Step Instructions to Buy Graduation Gifts
- Consider the graduate’s personal style and preferences
- Research machines to find a computer with the right criteria and style for the graduate
- Add options and accessories to the computer to be sure everything necessary is included
- Purchase the computer and present it to your graduate as a gift
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Buying a Gift For Graduation
If you’re hesitate to select a computer for your child, strongly consider buying a gift certificate or printing out one of your own design giving your child the opportunity to buy his own computer using your dollars. This is a great option for students who know more about computers than their parents.
You’ve heard about it, and you’ve seen it displayed in stores. Perhaps now it’s time for you to get HDTV.
Buy an HDTV
To get HDTV (high definition television) programming, you must have a television capable of showing the HDTV picture. Visit your local electronics store or shop online to see the various HD compatible televisions available. High definition can boost the price of a basic television set, but it is becoming increasingly a standard feature in most new sets. Check to see if your current television allows for HD, and if not, treat yourself to a new television with HD compatibility.
Call the Cable Company
Chances are, if you’re just now buying a HD television, you don’t already have HDTV coming through the cable box or satellite. Pick up the phone and call your representative about the HD options available in your viewing area. There are more HD channels being released all the time, so chances are good you have at least a handful of HDTV channels to choose from.
Your cable company may offer a HDTV package, or you may have to choose which channels you’d actually like to receive. Once you’ve made your selections and gotten service set up, you can expect a visit from the installation tech.
Install Your HDTV Box
Some companies may be able to send HDTV signals to your current cable or satellite box, but chances are you’ll have to get an upgraded receiver. The cable technician will come to call with the new box, a new remote, and all the necessary wires. You’ll need to show him how your new television works and have the owner’s manual on hand for the new TV should something prove tricky. Most likely, however, the tech will plug in a few wires, make a phone call, and have your HDTV up an running in less than thirty minutes.
Once you’re installed, you can pull up the old TV trays and popcorn while you enjoy crystal clear picture and sound. Throw in a new HD DVD for a real trip through the movies and spend some time experiencing nature as closely as you can through wires with HD Discovery. The longer you watch HD, the more you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.
Boys complain about buying present for girls, but men are often very difficult to shop for. There is always the boring tie, or the useless gadget, but what kind of gift shows a guy you care? That, of course, depends on the guy! Here’s how to buy your guy a present.
Determine the Occasion
There are certain gift-giving occasions such as Christmas and birthdays where we feel obligated to give gifts. Even if you truly want to find a gift, there is an extra pressure of finding just the right thing. Other times, you want to give a gift simply because you were inspired to do so by something you saw on the store shelf of because it just seems like fun.
The occasion can make a difference in the kind of gift you buy. Formal occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas and birthdays seem to demand larger, more expensive presents. Gifts given on a whim are often more of a token or in fun making them less expensive and less serious.
Look for Clues
Some men are thoughtful enough to leave clues or hints as to what they would like. Even if your guy is unaware of it, he may be leaving plenty of clues. A broken watch sitting on the counter is a bold sign. So are the shoes that have holes in the soles from lack of use and the dead plant on the counter. Look around his home to see what he needs, and listen to him talk to other friends to get clues as to what he would like to have.
Consider His Personality
You must also consider the personality of your guy. Is he the type of guy who would love beer stein and chia pets for Valentine’s Day, or is someone who would rather have a home cooked meal and candle light? Guys with a sense of humor are often easier to shop for than those who are more seriously romantic. There are simply more fun gifts than romantic ones for men.
Buy With Your Heart
Finally, buy a gift with your heart more so than with your head. You may have every indication that he wants a new golf club. You can buy him the golf club, but be sure you are enjoying the gift giving. If that means buying a humorous golf club cover to go with that club, by all means, knock yourself out. A gift is not an obligation, it is an item freely given by your heart, so be sure you select it with that same organ.
Women like to show a guy they care despite the fact that men hear words louder than action. While it can be hard to move away from cooking meals and buying him a new tie to show you care, try to find a way to tell a guy you like him that will actually let him know your feelings in his own language – English.
Say the Words
Saying “I like you” doesn’t have the same power or pressure as the more popular, “I love you.” If you’re not sure it’s love, but you’re pretty sure it’s like, feel free to blurt it out. If you’re too squeamish to say it in the heat of the moment, sneak it in while the two of you are laughing about something else. “Ha, ha – you are so funny! That must be why I like you so much!”
Write the Words
If you find you can’t just say the words, feel free to write them. Bake him a cake the way you secretly want to, but then use a bag of candy or chocolate chips to write it out, “I like you.” Or if that seems to cheesy, write him a little note and slip it in his pocket. Or better yet, text him during the day sometime to keep it light, “You know? I really like you – let’s meet for lunch.” Men like food, and they like to be liked. It’s a win-win all around.
Give the Gift
You’re dying to do it, so go ahead. Show the man you care. But if you’re going to pamper him, do it in a way that the message is clear. Washing his socks is nice, but it doesn’t shout romance. Buy him something totally unexpected such as chocolate dipped peppers or a new plant for his office. Since there couldn’t possibly be any other reason to send a present like that over, your guy should get the message loud and clear.
Adding curtains to a window can make a room look much homier and can add a personal and colorful touch to a room. By sewing these curtains yourself, you can customize your curtains to be the material you want, the size you need, and the style that best suits you. While this project may at first seem daunting, don’t let the idea of sewing your own curtains intimidate you.
Measure the Window
The first thing to do is to measure the window. Using a tape measure, carefully determine the height and width of the window. The dimensions of your fabric will not match the dimensions of the window. Double the width of the window to determine the needed width of your curtains. Add eight inches to the height of your window, or if you want longer panels, add additional height. Write down these dimensions.
Prepare the Material
Curtains can be made from almost any kind of material. From polyester-blend bed-sheets to organza, find a material in a style and color that matches the home decorations in your room. Wash and dry the material to prevent shrinking later on, and iron the material if needed. Cut the material to the needed dimensions. To make two panel curtains, you will cut two pieces of identically-sized material, each measuring the whole width of the window and the height plus eight inches or more.
Sew the Curtains
After your material is prepared, you can use a sewing machine loaded with thread that matches the color of your material to hem the edges of your curtains. To do this, fold each side and the bottom over one inch, then again one more inch. Pin the folds in place and sew your hem to prevent fraying.
To present a nice edge to your curtains, iron them. Fold the top the same way, but after the second fold, bring the top down three inches and sew a seam right through the middle. Sew another seam one inch from the top to form the rod pocket. Use any extra material to make tie backs to match your curtains. Use the proper hardware to hang your new curtains in your window, and look back on your project with pride!
The shopping is done, the tree is decorated, the presents are wrapped, but something is still missing. When all your guests gather around the table for the Christmas dinner you have spent hours preparing, what will they see? A bare tabletop? Let’s hope not. With a few simple touches, your dinner table can become a showcase for some beautiful Christmas decorations.
The centerpiece will be the focal point of your table, at least until Aunt Mary starts telling embarrassing old family stories. While you can purchase a fresh or silk flower arrangement, a sculpture or figurine of some kind, or a potted poinsettia, there are other options that you can assemble yourself on a budget. Try filling a pair of clear glass hurricane lamps with cheap and colorful glass globe Christmas ornaments. You can also use a vase to hold peppermints or small red and green candies. Use the candy to support a classic taper candle or a small group of artificial flowers fitting for the winter season.
A great opportunity to add a personal touch to your table is with your napkin rings. Napkin rings can be a pricy investment, or they can be a creative outlet of your holiday spirit. For a basic approach, cut one inch segments from the cardboard tube inside your wrapping paper. You can cover these with the wrapping paper itself, or paint or color the cardboard. Hot glue a small ornament to the top of the napkin ring. Another option is to string festive beads or buttons on a piece of elastic. Whatever you create, your guests will appreciate the time and creativity you invested in this Christmas decoration.
For large or small crowds, use placecards to not only help guests find their place at the table, but to showcase your holiday spirit. You can adapt gift tags to be placecards, or glue rectangles of wrapping paper on a stiff backing and write guests’ names on your homemade place card. Another option is to cut a Christmassy shape such as a star or bell out of cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil. A permanent marker will have no problem writing on the surface, making a lovely placecard.
The sweet frozen dessert hailing from Italy is similar to Ice Cream, but with a bolder flavor and fewer calories. Gelato is a wonderful dessert to serve at garden parties, showers, or birthday parties as it is festive, unusual and delicious. Here’s how to serve gelato.
Buy Gelato and Accessories
Wholesale gelato and accessories can be purchased over the internet. Many gelato retailers sell sorbets as well if you’re interested in a lighter frozen treat for your party. Purchase the amount of gelato you need along with the proper serving utensils. If you’d rather, you can also rent or buy a home gelato machine to make your own dessert the day of the party.
Keep the Gelato Frozen
Gelato is lighter than traditional ice cream, so it might melt more rapidly if not kept completely frozen. Store the gelato in a freezer around 30 degrees, just below freezing level to be sure it stays soft and fluffy rather than hard.
Arrange Festive Bowls
You can serve gelato in thin cones commonly found throughout Italy, or if you’d appreciate a more formal presentation, you can arrange any sort of bowl you’d like. Use champagne glasses, ice cream bowls, or even salad plates to serve the gelato to your guests.
Serve the Gelato
Gelato is beautifully textured in its container, especially if you freeze your own in an attractive serving pan. You might consider displaying and serving the ice cream in front of your guests rather than in the kitchen as the very confection itself can add to the festivities and decorations.
There is nothing worse than a rude child except one that has no idea how rude he is. Parents are responsible for teaching their children manners and when parents fail; the child suffers in our society. Here’s how to teach your child manners.
From the time he is born, you should be demonstrating the way you want your child to behave all of the time. Make “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome” natural parts of your child’s vocabulary. Watching you use the phrases is the most powerful motivation to use them himself.
Teach Manners All the Time
When it comes to manners, there is no time like the present. Go out of your way to be courteous and explain what you are doing to your child. This is especially effective when those around you are not particularity courteous as it often shames them into behaving a bit better. Encourage table manners every time you eat and use tissues to wipe noses and hands to cover coughs. The earlier you start and the more consistent you are, the faster your child will begin to demonstrate the kinds of manners you’d like.
If manners become a battleground, your child will almost always win. You can’t force willing politeness, so stay cool when your child is struggling to remember his manners. Take him aside and remind him how he should behave in simple, non threatening terms. Then praise him every time you see him do it correctly. You might sound like a broken record, but he’s getting the message loud and clear.
Ah, the nursery! When a new baby is on the way, the nursery presents the most fun and the most challenges. It doesn’t take long to realize you need more than a crib and a few outfits, but how do you know when you’ve gone overboard? Need to plan a nursery? Here’s how:
Pick the Room For Your Nursery
Your nursery should ideally be a room that is away from loud traffic or the neighbor’s barking dogs. You might prefer it have a western window to help your baby sleep later in the morning without the sun streaming in as it rises. It does not have to be large, but it will probably help to have a closet and some wall space for furniture placement.
Pick the Theme
How is the rest of your house decorated? Will this room be similar? Sketch out a rough plan in your head of what you would like the room to look like. What colors do you like? What kind of furniture do you need? Will the wood be dark or light?
Buy the Linens
While it might seem like the furniture would be next, you should buy the linens. The dust ruffle, crib bumper, sheets, quilt and curtains will determine the color and overall look of the room. Neutral will suit future babies in the room, while gender specific colors and patterns can be more fun. Sheets will get the most use, so buy a few extras. Quilts can’t be used in the bed until much later, so consider buying a rod and making it a wall hanging for decoration.
Paint Your New Nursery
After you have the color scheme, buy paint and/or wall paper and get busy putting color on the walls. Remember to let Dad do the painting; pregnant women should avoid the fumes if possible.
Buy the Furniture
Now it’s time to buy a crib, dresser, changing table and any other furniture you might need in the room. Changing tables are often used only for a year or two, so it might be better to get a pad for the top of the dresser. Also consider putting a full or twin bed in the room for times a parent wants to sleep near baby. Be sure to get coordinating linens if you do get a bed for the room. The furniture may take some time to be delivered, but set it up once it does arrive.
Buy the Rocker or Glider
You should have something to rock your baby in. Gliders are popular, and traditional rocking chairs will also do the trick. Buy one that is comfortable and sturdy. You’ll be spending a lot of time in this chair.
Buy the Decorations
Up to this point, you’ve taken care of the big items. You’ve painted, and you’ve set up furniture. You’ve got the linens. Now you get to buy decorations. Buy picture frames, rugs, wall signs or letters, toy boxes, lined baskets and anything else that suits your fancy.
Buy the Extras
Don’t forget to include the extra baby items in the room as well. You’ll need something for wet and dirty diapers, storage for clean diapers, a mobile, a place to store toys and linens, possibly a white noise machine or fan, a humidifier, and a baby monitor.
Buy the Layette
Now, it’s time to buy the layette. Layette is a fancy word for all the clothing and blankets a newborn needs. You should buy a few clothing items in the newborn size along with receiving blankets, burp clothes, washcloths, swaddling blankets and socks or booties to be ready. Be sure to pre wash all linens including sheets and blankets that will come in contact with baby’s sensitive skin.
Put Your New Nursery All Together
Finally spend a few days putting it all together. Remember to get help moving and setting up heavy items and take your time. Put the linens on the crib and hang curtains in the window. Hang pictures and place your rug. Then put the layette into your new dresser, sit in your rocker and anticipate bringing that new baby home.
Considering babies are said to only “eat, sleep, and poop,” they certainly manage to make the eating portion of their existence complicated. Here is how to feed your baby by age:
Babies need only breast milk or formula through month four. Contrary to popular belief, solids or cereal will not help your baby sleep better, but they can mess up her sensitive stomach.
Some babies are ready to begin solid foods at four months. Signs of readiness include being able to sit assisted, excellent head control, showing marked interest in the food you eat, and not being satisfied after 24-32 ounces of milk or formula each day. Speak with your pediatrician about the right time to start solids as every child is different and many now feel that waiting until six months is the best option.
When you do offer your baby solids for the first time, use a soft tipped baby spoon to protect her gums. You can offer essentially any baby food, but rice cereal is usually the first choice as it presents little chance of allergies and is mixed with familiar milk or formula. Feed a tiny bit and wait for it to come back out thanks to the tongue thrust reflex. This reflex will go away shortly.
After you have introduced cereal, continue to introduce other grains such as barley and oatmeal, then fruits and vegetables. Wait 3-5 days after each new food to be sure no allergic reaction is present. Most parents wait to introduce citrus and strawberries as these have high rates of allergic reactions in many children. You should also begin offering your baby a cup at this age, and she is also most likely ready to chew on a biscuit or piece of toast that she can grip with her fist.
You can now introduce dairy and protein foods. Proteins include beans, meats and yogurt. Dairy products should be full fat yogurts, cottage cheese and other soft cheese your baby can gum up. Your baby is now developing the pincher grip which allows her to pick up individual bites and put them in her mouth. You should greatly encourage this self feeding, but watch her very carefully as she learns to chew and swallow properly.
Gradually encourage greater use of the cup, spoon and self feeding of finger foods. By her first birthday, your baby should be eating the same table foods that you are eating at every meal.