Ultimate Pet Lovers’ Gift Baskets

Being the parent of a pet is a lot like being the parent of a human—there are a lot of things to buy. But if you’re ever out of gift ideas for your pet-loving friend, a gift basket stocked with everything they could need is a great option! They and their pet are sure to thank you.

Puppy Parent Basket
New puppies can be a handful, and knowing what necessities to buy can be a little overwhelming for new owners. Help them get a handle on it with this basket that has everything they could ever need.

  • Picture frame
  • Tennis ball/chew toys
  • Stuffed pillow
  • Bones

Feline-Friend Basket
Cats will go crazy for this fun basket made special for them. There’s yarn and catnip for playtime, not to mention homemade treats in their favorite flavors!

  • Yarn ball
  • Feather toys
  • Catnip/treats

Busy Birdy Basket
Bird owners, watchers, and their feathered friends will love the tasty DIY suet cakes and cozy new home in this basket.

  • Suet cakes
  • Feeder
  • Bird book
  • Seeds

Happy Horse Basket
Any horse-lover knows the way to a horse’s heart is through their stomach, so this basket with apples, sugar cubes, and other treats is guaranteed to put a big grin on their face. You can also add a fun printed scarf for your loved one to show their love for their pet!

  • Apples/carrots
  • Brush
  • Horse-printed scar

Good-Doggie Treat Jar
Homemade treats are a great option for any pup, but can be especially useful for owners who’s pet is on a restrictive diet. Fill a jar with cookie cutters, and the instructions for these treats so your loved one can make their dog’s day! PRINTABLE GIFT BASKET TAGS


Try making one of these baskets for your pet-loving friends and family, and snap a picture of your homemade gift to post on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #ALMcreate.

Coworking Spaces Are the Future of Office Life

If you’ve ever worked out of a coffee shop to get away from the house, feeling frustrated with the noise and atmosphere, then you should try out a co-working space in your area. These flexible, low commitment office spaces are growing rapidly at a projected 42 percent in the next year and revolutionizing the meaning of “workplace.”  

What a co working space is  

A co working space is a building that offers working areas for people who need affordable, reliable space outside of the traditional office, coffee shop, or home office. There’s a variety of groups and individuals from different professions, and companies sharing one building at any given time during business hours.  

Who uses the space? 

Startup companies  

A business in its first stages of operations won’t always be able to afford buying their own building, but they still need that collaborative environment to keep making strides toward eventually purchasing one. 

Freelancers  

Freelance writers, photographers, and everyone else who doesn’t have a tie to any company, can benefit from the professional environment away from coffee shops and their home office.  

Working from home/telecommuting 

Growing trends in career decisions have a lot to do with flexibility. Working remotely via telecommuting is huge now. Individuals who telecommute frequently or all the time can now feel like they have a tangible office space every day to focus.  

The appeal of them 

Cost effective  

Most coworking spaces are rented by the day or month, with little to commitment. People who are unsure of their need for space over time can rent per day without fear of being looped into a contract. If you do choose to rent for a few months, it is far cheaper than buying your own space or renting a building.  

Different atmosphere 

As humans, we thrive off change and innovation. So many people are tired of the traditional workplace and desire to have the opportunity to work in different spots, not being tied down to one desk every day.  

Meeting other people  

Coworking spaces give people the opportunity to work next to people they’ve never met. There is a sense of community among those who seek out these unconventional offices, and some even host community events and mixers.  

Future of co working spaces 

Bigger spaces 

Physically, it’s projected that co-working businesses will purchase larger buildings and expand their locations to house more people as they find out about these spaces.  

Collaboration between companies 

There is potential for small companies using these spaces to interact and collaborate on projects. This can help those startup companies and others who need with small businesses.  

Next time you’re working from home and feel stuck in the house, and Starbucks just won’t cut it, see if there’s a coworking space near you! Oftentimes these places will give trial offers and starting discounts.  

How to Repurpose Household Items to Reduce Waste

We throw out more reusable items in our homes than we may realize. As many people are making an effort to help the environment, upcycling—turning potential waste into new and useful products—has become incredibly popular. You can also reuse traditionally disposable products for new purposes. Start transforming the objects in your home so that you’re using more and throwing less in the trash.

Egg cartons

Egg cartons can be used for countless different purposes. You can use them to package mini cupcakes or muffins, to organize small Christmas ornaments, or to store small objects like jewelry or office supplies. Egg cartons also work well for gardening. Just cut up the carton so that it’s separated into different squares, which you can wet with water and place right into the ground—the wet carton is biodegradable. You can even reuse egg cartons to freeze small portions of food or to act as molds for Jell-O.

Disposable razors

Don’t toss your disposable razors in the trash right away. You can use them to remove pills from fabrics like sweaters and blankets. If you don’t have a lint brush around, an old razor is the next best thing and will get the job done.

Empty tissue boxes

Empty tissue boxes are surprisingly handy to keep around the house. Fill them with plastic bags to use them as a storage spot. You can also use empty tissue boxes as small trash cans for your desk, office space, car, or bathroom. If you want, you can cut the tops off tissue boxes and use them as drawer dividers to separate the items in your dresser.

Cardboard tubes

The next time you go to throw away the cardboard from your paper towel or toilet paper roll, think again. Use them to hold together loose cables, like extension cords or chargers. You can also slice the tube open lengthwise, place it on the bottom of a hanger, and tape the cut portion back together. Hang your pants over the tube to prevent them from getting creased and wrinkly when hanging in your closet. You can also use cardboard tubes as makeshift pencil cases for your office space. If you’re feeling crafty, decorate the outside for a colorful twist.

Dish soap bottle

If you’ve used up your dish soap bottle, clean it thoroughly, and then use it to hold pancake and waffle mix. You’ll be able to squeeze out the exact amount you’ll need instead of messily scooping batter out of the bowl and into a frying pan or waffle maker.

Floor tiles

Consider using unused tiles to make an art piece for your home. All you have to do is break up the tile in a cloth bag and arrange the pieces into a pattern, using floor-tile adhesive to stick the pieces onto a solid surface. Once the adhesive dries, use grout to fill in the cracks between the tile pieces and let everything dry. Use this same process for making a mosaic table or revamping a tabletop.

Old shirts

Use your old shirts as cloths or rags, or, better yet, make the sentimental ones into items you can keep in your home. If your favorite old t-shirt is ripping at the seams, sew it onto a pillow. If you have a bunch of old shirts that mean something to you, sew them into a quilt. These objects will preserve your memories without over filling your closet.

Shower curtains

If you have old shower curtains that are no longer hanging up in your bathroom, use them as tablecloths if you’re eating outdoors. You can also use them to cover the floor if you’re doing a project or painting the walls in your home. If it’s winter and you’re worried about frost building up on your windshield, cut your shower curtain to the size of your windshield. Then, hem in magnets so that you can stick the windshield cover to the front of your car.

If you look at your trash in a different way, you’ll often find that it isn’t trash at all. Try out these tricks to reduce waste and get the most out of your household items.

Giant Yahtzee®

Everyone’s favorite game of chance gets supersized in this exciting backyard version! All you need are a few simple materials and you’ll be having fun in no time!

Materials

  • Five 3½ inch x 3½ inch wooden cubes
  • Black and white indoor/outdoor paint
  • ¾ inch Spouncers™ (circle foam brushes or dabbers)
  • Clear spray sealer
  • Aluminum bucket

Directions:

  1. Start by gathering all of your supplies. Check a hobby or art supplies store for wooden cubes that can serve as dice.
  2. Paint your cubes with the white paint. Allow to dry.
  3. Using the Spouncers, paint black dots on each side of the cube to make the pips. Make sure your sides are numbered from one through six.
  4. Once the paint dries, spray your cubes with the clear spray sealer.
  5. Place your cubes in the bucket until you are ready to play, following the standard rules of Yahtzee®.
  6. Use our free printable scorecard to keep score throughout the game.

Hobbies You Can Start Today

With lives full of work and obligations, it’s important to make time for leisure and fun. We become depleted and stressed when we don’t do enough of the activities that bring us joy. If you’re stuck in a rut with your daily routine, it’s the perfect time to start up a new hobby.

If you’re an active person…

Already like to exercise or spend time outside? Try one of these active hobbies that feels more like an activity than your daily routine of hitting the gym.

Hiking

Hiking is a more scenic way of exercising than your typical walk or run. Find a park or trail near your area and get ready for peaceful time with beautiful views. You can even get a hiking group together if you’d prefer to go with others.

Canoeing and Kayaking

During warmer seasons, head to a pond, river, lake, or even an ocean. You can rent a canoe or kayak for the day. Not only is this an excellent workout, but it’s also a calm way to explore and spend time in nature.

Camping

Look into campgrounds at your local state park or even a nearby national park. Pack up camping gear, recruit some friends, and lay out under the stars every night. If you’re new to camping and want to ease yourself into it, try camping out in your backyard.

If you’re a creative type…

Maybe you already enjoy doodling or journaling in your free time, but you could consider harnessing your creativity by taking up a unique artistic hobby.

Calligraphy

Try teaching yourself how to write in calligraphy. This intricate, beautiful art will allow you to slow down and focus. If you want to take a beginner’s approach, try writing in cursive and thickening all the downward strokes of your letters. This will form a basic variation of calligraphy.

Pottery

Pottery is a difficult art that requires patience, but it is also incredibly satisfying. You can purchase a pottery wheel at a local craft store and get to work making your own mugs, plates, vases, and everything in between.

Origami

Head to the bookstore or take to the internet for step-by-step origami tutorials. Stock your house with the necessary tiny papers and get to work creating beautiful figures.

Furniture Repurposing

If you have old furniture that needs an upgrade or you can scout out a piece or two at a yard sale, consider updating these items DIY-style. Sanding a piece and finishing it with a touch of new paint can make an old item look as good as new.

If you already like food and cooking…

Of course, you can continue to look up new recipes and prepare meals at home, but there are many other exciting ways that you can embrace your passion for culinary arts.

Become a food critic

Okay, maybe you don’t have an official title, but move from restaurant to restaurant sampling items off different menus. You can order appetizers or grab a signature drink, and then write about the food or drink on a personal blog.

Make your own drinks

Check your state laws first, but in many cases, it’s perfectly legal to make your own beer or wine at home. Experiment with different flavors and blends and serve your creations the next time you host family or friends for dinner.

Start a food-related club

Have a lot of foodie friends? Get a group together and set up regular meetings, maybe once or twice a month, completely dedicated to food. The meetings can have themes, like “cheese” or “breads” and function as potlucks. Every foodie will bring their own dish to the meeting coupled with copies of the recipe to give out to the other club members.

If you consider yourself a lifelong learner…

You might be years out of school but still have a zest for learning. There are many ways you can continue to expand on your intelligence beyond your school days.

Learn a language.

Choose a language that you’re interested in learning. Maybe you’d like to learn the language of your older relatives or ancestors, or you want to learn the native language of a country you’re planning to visit. Whether you buy some books or enroll in an online program, this process will keep your brain working.

Teach yourself an instrument.

There are countless online guides that can help you teach yourself an instrument of your choice. This challenge will stimulate your brain and it’ll be incredibly satisfying once you master your instrument.

Start a book club.

Gather a group of friends looking to learn more about a certain topic. Whether you’re looking into a certain period of history, want to explore a fiction author’s work, or want to take some time to read thought-provoking, discussion-based books. Select your books together and plan on monthly meetings to analyze them.

If you’re growing tired of your daily routine, pick up a new hobby to refresh yourself and add some excitement to your life.