Earth Day

You don’t really notice it until you leave but growing up in the Great NW you see that Mother Earth has always been something in the forefront of our minds here. My parents made sure we spent time in nature, we had a garden (and played with the snakes in it), we know what it is like to hike in the old growth forest, build a fire, compost the yard clippings and of course recycle. In school recycling was the new hot thing to do (or that’s what us kids thought). Each room was equipped with its own containers (green mesh bag for colored paper and white for white- duh) , a place for plastic and the less popular aluminum…..I don’t know about you but we didn’t bring soda in our school lunches, it was juice boxes all the way. Recycling was everywhere, we’d use recycled paper scraps to make new art projects, we learned songs about ways to save the Earth in music class, and we’d go out into the playground and surrounding park to pick up trash and recyclables to make our school that much better. So as you can see, like I said, it is in my blood to recycle (of course I think it is in every Oregonians). When my dad was helping me move out several years ago we went out to toss some boxes in the yellow recycling bin – It is still hard for me to talk about what we saw in there – what my new roommate left in there…. In the garbage can there were fully assembled boxes with Styrofoam....

Easter Egg Decorating

Photo courtesy of iheartmoms.com Okay – let’s talk Easter Eggs. Specifically, decorating Easter Eggs. I had no idea until recently how many ways there are to decorate an egg! I admit, I’m not the most creative person when it comes to stuff like this. Luckily, some of my co-workers certainly are, so we searched Pinterest and made an Easter Egg Decorating board on GiftTree’s Pinterest page to share with you! I invite you to check it out, get some ideas and if you plan to do any egg decorating this year, take a pic and enter it in our Easter contest to win a great prize!  Egg-cellent fun facts about Eggs:  To tell if an egg is raw or hard-boiled, spin it. Because the liquids have set into a solid, a hard-boiled egg will easily spin. The moving liquids in a raw egg will cause it to wobble.  The Easter egg roll on the White House lawn has been a tradition since 1878 Vegreville, Canada is the site of the world’s largest Easter Egg, weighing in at 5,000 lbs.! Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate them a week to 10 days in advance of cooking. About 1 in 1000 eggs have a double...

6 Saint Patrick’s Day Gifts For People Who Are Hard To Buy For

Whether the recipient is Irish or just wishes they were, it’s no easy task finding the right gift for Saint Patrick’s Day. Never fear, GiftTree isn’t about to leave you hanging. We’ve assembled a lineup of some of the most delicious, ready-to-party gifts for you that we can muster. 1. For the Cookie Lover: Saint Patrick’s Cookie Pail These are no ordinary shamrock cookies. Their recipe is derived from an ancestral shortbread recipe from Scotland, and is packed with incredible buttery flavor. Each one is handmade in a Portland, Oregon bakery to exacting standards. Normally reserved for restaurants and gourmet stores, we’ve packed a dozen of them into a green pail for top-notch presentation. They come dipped in chocolate, green confection, and sprinkled with sugar crystals. 2. For the Sugar Addict: As Good as Gold Pots of Leprechaun gold are in short supply these days, so we’ve cooked up a replacement to fortify adventurers on their quests. Caramel Truffle Bars by Lake Champlain, Macadams’ Lemon Tea Cookies, Marich Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, and Jumbo Toffee Peanuts are just the beginning. It’s not bottomless, but it’s close. 3. For the Tea Snob: Traditional Teatime Basket White Tea, Black Tea, Green Tea, we’ve got it all covered. Stuffed with some of the best varieties we could find, this basket contains everything needed for a complete teatime. Teas include Tea Forte’s famous Ginger Tea pyramids, three varieties of Teatulia and Te Peppermint Chamomile Jazz Tea. Complementing these are mint and chai shortbread by Biscottea, Orange Blossom Honey, Lemon Tea Cookies, wafers, and a complete ceramic teapot and cup. 4. For the Beer...

St. Patrick’s Cookie Pail

Coming from strong Irish ancestry, and with a name like McBurney you’ve got to love all things Irish, and I do! That’s why I was so excited to see our new St. Patrick’s Cookie Pail filled with traditional shortbread cookies. ‘Tis a taste of Ireland to be sure. It’s funny how flavors and aromas can bring back fond memories, I’ve traveled to Ireland many times over the years and have enjoyed “taking tea” with my Irish friends. The Irish are wonderful at making you feel welcome, putting on the kettle and laying out a spread of lovely sweets, and shortbread is often one of them. I can tell you from experience that these buttery, lightly golden cookies are authentically Irish and melt in your mouth good, reminding me of those I’ve enjoyed many a time at a darling little tea cottage in Kilkenny, Ireland. They are pure Irish magic. If these shamrock cookies weren’t enough, I know the recipient of this gift will love the soft green reusable metal pail with handle, I figure I’m going to plant mine with a wee shamrock plant or maybe use it to carry gardening tools and gloves when Spring gardening time arrives….you know if its St. Patrick’s Day, Spring is right around the...

Valentine’s Day!

As a girl I had wild dreams of one day experiencing a Valentines day like they they do in the movies. Rose petals everywhere, champagne for the masses and prince charming on one knee with a diamond that would put the Heart of the Ocean to shame.  In grade school my dad brought me and my sisters flowers to school every year, potted ones that we could then bring home and plant in the yard. It was something I looked forward to every year. Now that I’m out of school, all of my valentines days have consisted of awful restaurants, last minute plans, and an occasional gift. Mind you I don’t have the best track record when it comes to dating. I guess I just haven’t found “The One”. As I have gotten older, my ideal Valentines Day has changed with each passing year. The thought of having to clean up all the mashed petals in my carpet is not appealing, I have discovered champagne is not my drink of choice, and while the Heart of the Ocean is a spectacular piece of jewelry, it now lies at the bottom of the Atlantic – Ugh, thanks Rose. Don’t get me wrong, I am still a hopeless romantic;  I fantasize about marring Johnny Castle and dancing the night away, the song lyrics of 16 year old Taylor Swift resonate in my soul more then they should and I can’t help but smile when I know that someone has found their lobster. I don’t need anything fancy these days, although I wouldn’t pass up a love letter like the ones Mr....

Feb. 2nd – Groundhog’s Day!

When I was in elementary school I loved making crafts for each of the upcoming holidays. We created turkeys from handprints for Thanksgiving, made Santa faces with cotton beards for Christmas and for Groundhogs Day… um, I don’t ever remember doing anything for Groundhogs day. Is it even a real holiday? To be honest – there wasn’t much I could tell you about this day other then what I learned from Bill Murray (they say were young and we dont know….we wont find out until we grow….). I took to the trusty internet to do a little research and I tell you what, I was not impressed with what I found. With what some say is an accuracy around 37% the groundhog isn’t much of a weather man. I’ll stick to what Rob Marciano predicts (who in my opinion is the cutest weather person on TV and got his start right here in the NW! (Yea, I loved him first). As legend has it, if the groundhog emerges from his cozy underground dwelling and sees his shadow we are in for 6 more weeks of winter but if he pokes his little head out and sees a cloud filled sky we can look forward to an early spring. Now this always confused me – See sun, longer winter, see clouds early spring? Does that make sense to anyone else? Maybe with 37% accuracy we have had it wrong all along after all that is a failing grade.  But tell me this whats worse?  1.) Living the same day over and over again or 2.) have a failing grade Top...