Monthly Archives: May 2016

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Creative Baskets – 5 Fun and Festive Holiday Food Gifts

Category : Gifts

Holiday food gifts send happy messages to those you love! Do you live a distance from them? Would you like to be a cheerful part of their holiday season? Festive and delicious edible delights in creative baskets delivers your best wishes in a delightful way!

Holiday food gifts with summer sausages, cheeses, cookies, crackers, chocolate truffles and more edible delights are special ways to send your love. Saying Happy Holidays with creative baskets is almost as much fun, as being there with them.

Imagine the front door of their homes and creative baskets filled with holiday food gifts awaiting them for a pleasant surprise from you. Brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mom and dad and grandparents, each would enjoy that surprise gift from you.

Multiple gifts in one, the edible delights and specialty gourmet goodies are pleasurable to give and a delight to receive. These holiday food gift are found online for easy shopping and fast delivery. Five examples of festive creative baskets can help you make a decision, about the surprise presents you would like to the ones you love.

1. Holiday celebrations with sweet and savory edible delights lets your families celebrate the holidays in festive fun. Holiday food gifts are all dressed up to suit any family or friend.

2.  Gourmet nuts and chocolates are delightful gifts for brothers and sisters. They are quality ways to let them savor delicious bites, dipped in joy from you.

3.  Gourmet chocolate gift baskets are treats for the chocolate lover. The holidays would not be right, without enjoying delicious silky smooth chocolates in gorgeous wraps.

4.  Gourmet coffees in creative baskets are always a treat and superb gift ideas for mom and dad or our grandparents. Treats of pastries, chocolates, cookies and more holiday food gifts are dressed up for the holiday season.

5.  What would a holiday season be like, without Christmas candy? The delicious traditional candy and sweet edible delights are sure to be a treat for the families you love.

Festive holiday food gifts are in celebration of your joy for the families and friends you have and all the blessing you find within your world. They send a bright and cheerful message from you and are fun for your loved ones to receive. If you are missing them, send your ‘missing you’ message with creative baskets and let them know you are with them in heart and mind.


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Do theories of giftedness in children apply to adults?

Category : Gifts

So….ummmm…what is a gifted adult’?  Since there is so much more information about gifted children compared to information about gifted adults, and, working under the assumption that there is a connection, that gifted children become gifted adults, I figure I will start by considering what gifted children are.
So then: what’s a gifted child?  Even though there isn’t consensus about what a gifted child is, there are some established streams of thought.  The most commonly accepted view of gifted children is: Some children demonstrate behaviour that is quantitatively different than their peers.  For example, a gifted children may speak sooner and/or with greater complexity.    They may have knowledge of things that are atypical of other kids their age – either to a greater degree or simply an unusual interest.  Generally speaking, the intellectual development of gifted children can be measured as quantitatively different from their chronological peers.  And it’s possible to measure a child’s deviation from the standard as developmental psychology has mapped out a tremendous number of behavioural norms.  Thank you Mr Piaget.

Cognitive processing or, put another way, knowing a lot of information before other children of the same age, seems to get a lot of attention.  What seems to have had less attention is theories regarding personality traits and behaviours associated with gifted children.  However, there is some awareness that a child’s broader social and emotional development is also differentiated if their cognitive experience varies from the norm.  Linda Kreger Silverman’s Asynchronous Development articulates the intuitive underlying premise of gifted education: that intellectual and emotional development may not be aligned.  For example, a child might have the language skills of an 18 year old, the physical abilities of a 12 year old and the emotional skills of a 10 year old and a chronological age of 11.  By acknowledging this asynchronicity, Dr Silverman introduces questions beyond intellectual development: what expectations does society have of a child like this?  What frustrations might asynchronicity create in a child?

I find the idea that intelligence potentially has implications beyond cognitive processing/education very interesting.  There are other theories about behaviours of children that might be associated with having high intelligence.  For example, there is a theory that gifted children need to engage in debate simply to reflect their cognitive processing.   Hence, the theory that a gifted child’s love of argument for argument’s sake produces little lawyers.  As a parent I am very familiar with my childrens’ love of debating because they do it ALL THE TIME. I am so used to how my children interact, I lose perspective – I assume that ALL children constantly need to question and challenge EVERYTHING.  It’s my experience that all children challenge and question to a degree so I forget that not all children are predisposed to litigate EVERY single instruction (and most observations), and I do mean EVERY single one, until some bystander comments on it on my children’s constant questioning or they wear out somebody not used to their unrelenting, high intensity kind of interaction.
So back to my question: what is a gifted child?  Generalizations are so problematic because for the concept to make sense, by definition, it would need to apply universally.  And yet, whenever I read anything about giftedness, I think: “would this apply to all gifted children?”  So today, I’m working within this framework: giftedness is based in a differentiated cognitive processing that would tend to be associated with some personality traits. (And I’m leaving aside, for now, the difficulty in quantifying ‘differentiated cognitive processing’). Recently I heard a speaker, Jason Dorsey, talk about Generation Y and how they interact in a multi-generational workplace (hiliarious and brilliant presentation, by the way).  When he started speaking, everyone in the audience was on the defensive, resistant to being labelled and generalized.  But he carefully defined his terms and suggested that the characteristics associated with each generation were CLUES not absolute statements.  And of course, he was bang on with every “clue”, accurately skewering all of us and 15 minutes in, everyone’s heads were nodding in recognition and we were doubled over in laughter. I feel the same way about ‘characteristics’ of giftedness – I resist the idea of being generalized; however, I recognize myself, as well as my gifted friends and family in the descriptions.

And, at the same time, I’m left to ponder the many questions spinning through my brain.  Like, the validity of the IQ test itself.  Like, really, how different is it to be in the 97th percentile versus the 98th – does this really produce a distinct experience that can be catagorized?  When I read through the personality characteristics associated with giftedness(child or adult), there are so many, often contradictory, characteristics listed, they seem to capture just about everything and everyone.  As someone I know said, “I recognize myself in it but I also recognize myself as Libra in the newspaper horoscope”. So how useful are these ‘gifted characteristics’ lists? Does asynchronicity in childhood shape us as adults?  Have I mastered my ‘little lawyer’ in adulthood or, like my children, do I continue to challenge constantly?  And here’s my biggest question: how does the traditional, developmental idea of giftedness in children apply to giftedness in adults?  If the personality characteristics of giftedness are based in differentiated cognitive processing, and if a gifted child is gifted because they are ahead of their peers, what happens when development ultimately evens out?  A child who can read fluently at three is exceptional.  An adult who can read fluently at 23 is not.  Performing ‘ahead’ of our peers does not apply the same way in adulthood. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why there is less information about gifted adults: the conventional understanding of giftedness in children cannot be applied to adults in the same way.


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Communicating in Gifted Adult

Category : Gifts

Communication is a complicated thing that trips everyone up continually but for gifted adults, communication can be its own particular animal.  First is the gap between how the gifted mind works and the ability to translate it into words.  And since the world is not solely a rationale experience there is also the interplay between thoughts and feelings and the lack of language to address the synergy between the two.  That distance between the interwoven, rapidly moving, potentially non-linear thoughts/feelings and language can be vast for a gifted adult.  So often the words expressed by a gifted adult are already a lesser version than what is in a gifted adult’s mind.  But communication has a sender and a receiver – there needs to be someone on the other end to receive the message who can understand.  There is the second gap: the ability for a gifted adult to find a recipient who can synthesize the information that is sent.

Gifted adult communication can also be affected by other qualities  Like speaking emphatically.  Some of us never outgrow the gifted child’s tendency toward argument and may be perceived as argumentative.  Because of what we know or how may be able to solve problems, we may be perceived (or in fact, actually be) arrogant know it alls.  In my case, I have the natural tendency to speak elliptically and digressively (and OK, yes, emphatically).  When I speak with someone who has the same tendencies, it’s a thing of beauty.  But most people don’t communicate like I do naturally and I regularly reign in my natural speaking style so people don’t look at me cross-eyed.

At the end of the day, communication takes two sides.  The reality for a  gifted adult is that we naturally communicate unlike the vast majority of people. So most of us adapt.  For me, I very interested in people and connecting with them.  Practically it serves no purpose to haul out the full extent of my vocabulary when it means that person I’m talking to has no idea what I’m saying. Also have no desire to make anyone feel diminished so I unconsciously adjust my vocabulary, subject matter and the depth of my knowledge on many topics.  It also helps that I tend to be genuinely interested in the other person.  When I was a teenager and was being obnoxious about something I no longer recall, my father offered me sound advice: that everyone knows more than me about something and my experience has confirmed this.  As a gifted adult, adjust how we communicate is necessary if we wish to be able to communicate effectively with people.

Nevertheless, not being able to regularly communicate as feels most natural ultimately compromises a gifted adult.  For any of you who speak a second language, you know how much effort it takes to think and communicate in a language that is not native, even when you’re fluent.  That is what it’s like for gifted adult – we either spend the majority of our life adapting to how most people communicate, in our second language so to speak or communicating in our natural way, our native tongue as a gifted adult, which few understand.  To take the analogy one step further, languages often have dialects – speaking the English of Eastern Canada does not always guarantee I will understand the English in other parts of the world.  So too is the case with gifted adults – already a small group, further splintered because not all gifted adults speak the same dialect.

As a gifted adult, I think the first step is recognizing that this is how it is.  Personally, I may find the need to adapt frustrating at times but the rest of the world is not going to change to communicate my way.  Ideally, it’s great to find that ultimate trifecta of alignment in communication: intellectual, emotional and values but most of the time I’m content to communicate on any one of those three.  And considering that I’m a very small minority, I figure it’s on me to go find others with whom I can communicate with in my natural, impassioned, loopy, digressive manner without censor and to whom I can be an equivalent receiver.  For you gifted adults who speak a small dialect of an already obscure language, I really encourage you to do what you can to find someone else who knows your language.


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Characteristics of Gifted Adults – Overview

Category : Gifts

Many people think there is only one characteristic associated with being a gifted adult: high intelligence as defined by an IQ score. Despite this common misconception, being gifted is not an IQ score but how a gifted adult thinks, feels and perceives the world.

Defining Characteristics of Gifted Adults

1) Differentiated Thinking

Differentiated thinking is defined by academics/educators/psychologists in a number of ways: divergent, complex, an IQ score, ability to assimilate significant amounts of information rapidly (though this ability may be subject specific), the need to understand information at a deeper level/to understand why.  Regardless of how differentiated thinking is defined, being gifted means thinking differently than most people and, generally speaking, in a way that can be measured.

Some common markers of gifted thinking include: unconventional perspective, disregard for status quo, the need to ‘figure it out for yourself’, wide variety of interests, the tendency to think about thinking (metacognition), extensive vocabulary, inclination to analyze, curiousity, and the desire to ’solve’ problems.   The differentiated thinking of gifted adults is characterized by the tendency to regularly come to conclusions that are at odds with the accepted thinking and to come to that conclusion quickly.

 

2) Intensity

It has been suggested that the physiology and differentiated thinking of gifted adults are linked.  In essence, a gifted adult’s nervous system fires faster than the average person creating a heightened internal experience.  For example, a gifted adult will start by thinking about an experience differently than most, simultaneously linking it to and synthesizing it with many other thoughts simultaneously, and then tend to play the thought over in their mind.  This phemonema of the heightened interplay of differentiated thinking and emotion is particular to gifted adults and, while it can take many forms, its core defines what it is to be a gifted adult.

These two characteristics define what it is to be a gifted adult but other factors interact with a gifted adult’s differentiated thinking and intensity; the environment, other personal traits and experience also affect  determine who someone is.  As a result, gifted adults are a diverse group and cannot be defined beyond differentiated thinking and intensity.  Nevertheless, there are additional characteristics that do not define gifted adults, they are more common in gifted adults than the general population.

Also, it should be pointed out, the presence or absence of the characteristics below does not determine if one is a gifted adult; however, having these characteristics, particularly in combination, is a good indicator one is a gifted adult.  Deidre V. Lovecky pointed out that in order to explain characteristics associated with being gifted, it’s necessary to describe them separately but of course, they do not exist stand alone but interact and reinforce each other.

Common Characteristics of Gifted Adults

Overexcitabilities are a way of explaining the intensity found in gifted adults.  Overexcitability is a translation of a Polish word that is meant to convey ‘the capacity to be superstimulated’.  Based on the theories of Dabrowski and Piechowski, it is suggested that gifted adults have stronger sensory experiences and these sensory experiences are quantitatively different than most.  Overexcitabilities are broken down into these categories:

  1. Psychomotor
  2. Sensual
  3. Intellectual
  4. Imaginational
  5. Emotional

Perception – ability to read emotional situations beyond the surface/dislike of superficiality; related to differentiated thinking is the ability to predict outcomes and consequences

Asynchronicity – feeling of being out of step emotionally either with the external environment or internally due to the disconnection between one’s intellectual and emotional states

Entelechy – the need and drive to be all that one is capable of being.

Perfectionism – high standards for one’s self and other people; may be accompanied by guilt and frustration when one is not living up to their expectations

Idealism/Heightened Sense of Morality – the tendency to see things in black and white; ability to be outraged at injustice

Isolation – lack of intellectual peers and different world view often result in sense of being alone and disconnected

Introversion – this can mean needing time alone to think but it also can mean that being be one’s self is necessary to re-charge versus extraverts who become energized as a result of being around other people.  Introversion does not necessarily mean avoiding or not enjoying the company of other people.


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10 Misconceptions About Gifted Adults

Category : Gifts

Gifted adults are largely invisible.  One of the reasons very few apply the term to themselves is due to the misconceptions about giftedness – in adulthood as well as childhood.  Many adults who have been part of  the gifted community, either as children or as parents still do not acknowledge themselves as gifted adults.  Adults who were identified as gifted children were often not provided information about what it means to be gifted and, as a result, think they have outgrown being gifted.  Parents of gifted children often fail to identify their own giftedness due to the many misconceptions of what a gifted adult is.  Of course, there are many  gifted adults not affiliated with the gifted education system in anyway- gifted adults who simply feel out of step but don’t know why but would never consider themselves gifted because of the misconceptions as to what a gifted adult is.

The misconceptions of being a gifted adult fall into two categories: superstar overachiever or incompetent misfit.  The reality is more subtle than either of these stereotypes suggest: some gifted adults struggle and some achieve extraordinary things.  Most gifted adults are somewhere in the middle neither overachieving nor significantly underachieving.

10 Misconceptions about Gifted Adults

All gifted people:

  • Are ‘nerds’
  • Are socially inept
  • Were exceptional students
  • Have attained a high level of formal education
  • Are ‘book smart’
  • Physically awkward
  • Excel at everything uniformly; have evenly distributed abilities
  • Have exceptional careers
  • Are able to ‘get ahead’ because of their intelligence
  • Cannot be successful with practical things because they’re ‘too intelligent’; absent minded professors

Some gifted adults may or may not conform to a stereotypes but neither stereotype explains or defines what being a gifted adult is.  If you have rejected the idea you are a gifted adult because of the misconceptions above, I encourage you to reconsider but this time based on information, not popular misconceptions.


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5 Ways Jobs are Like Romantic Relationships

Category : Gifts

1) Some jobs are bad news.  The employer is abusive.  Or the environment is hazardous.  Doesn’t matter who’s doing the job, it’s just a bad job.  And there are some people who will be harmful to whomever they’re in a relationship with.  Doesn’t matter who.

2) Sometimes the  job is OK but you’re not ready for it yet.  You’re underqualified, don’t know enough, wrong timing.  And some relationships might work for you five years from now but you don’t yet have what it takes.

3) Some jobs you’re unsuccessful at because you don’t put enough into it.  You wait for your employer to fix everything, assume everything is your employer’s fault and you come to work everyday waiting for all your negative expectations to come true.  And they do because you’ve created that outcome for yourself.  Just like when we assume everything is our partner’s fault and offer nothing – we create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

4) Some jobs fail because we have unrealistic expectations.  We assume everything is going to be exactly how we dreamed it would be.  We’re not prepared to work through the bumps in the road.  We’re disappointed when we discover some of our ‘dream’ job is not what we imagined.  Just like when we think our relationship will be an airbrushed Hollywood movie and then find out that it’s imperfect, just like the rest of real life.  Some of us spend our life bouncing from job to job, always disappointed, never able to invest in any of them.  Just like some people spend their life bouncing from person to person and never find anyone who to lives up to the unrealistic ideal.

5) Some jobs fail because you fell into them by accident.   You were unclear or never thought about what you wanted in a job and you took the job that was available.  Or you took the job that, under the circumstances, was the best option.  Or maybe  you didn’t think there was a better job out there for you.  A lot like relationships: sometimes we fall into them, never really took the time (or knew how) to figure out what we wanted.  Sometimes, in both work and relationships, we get lucky and wind up with a job/person we love, and find fulfillment.  But more often most of us just ride the wave and make do with the job/person that presents itself rather than actively seek what’s right for us.

For those of us who are gifted, our search for the right career has specific challenges.  We may be placed in a job that we are not yet ready for – our unusual strengths often masking our equal weaknesses.  We are often unaware of our own responsibility for creating a work environment that will suit us and/or don’t have the skills to find meaning and satisfaction in our work.  Many of us, with our ideals and high expectations of ourselves and others become disheartened and disillusioned when our job doesn’t live up to our expectations.  Sometimes we expend a lot of misdirected energy, applying ourselves to our job in the extreme and then become disappointed that our effort and contribution is not appreciated and/or resented and we become unhappy and burnt out.   A lot of gifted adults simply resign themselves to being unhappy and isolated at work and settle because we don’t think there’s anything better out there for us or because we don’t know how to find it.

Standard relationship is advice is: start with your self and determine: what do you need, what do you want, what can you offer.  Once you know that, you improve your chances of finding a meaningful relationship.  So if a job is like a romantic relationship, then the place to start is to take responsibility for ourselves.  It’s great when we wind up with an employer who recognizes our strengths and tolerates our shortcomings, just like it’s terrific when we find a partner who does the same.  However, we increase the odds of this happening when we have the self awareness: realistic expectations, understanding of our role of the employment relationship, knowledge of what it means to be a gifted adult and the unwillingness to settle.


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Wine and Cheese Gift Ideas

Category : Gifts

If you are searching for an elegant gift, consider a gift of wine and cheese pairings or the gift of a membership in a wine club. Wine gift baskets are one of the hottest gifts available.

Whether your recipient is a true wine connoisseur or is just becoming acquainted with wines, wine baskets are considered the height of “good taste.”

Types of Wine Gifts

There are almost as many wine types on the market as there are people on the planet. The most popular categories are the Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot types. Wine can also be broken down into reds, whites, and rosès. Wine can also be categorized as sparkling or non-sparkling. Sparkling wines generally include champagnes or spumantes.

The most popular types of white wines include:

• Riesling- These wines are lighter than Chardonnay wines and have the aroma of apples. Rieslings are generally produced in Germany, New York, and California. They are a dry wine (not sweet) and pair well with chicken, pork, and fish.

• Chardonnay- Chardonnay wines are the most popular type of white wines. Chardonnay wines can be either sparking or non-sparkling, sometimes referred to as “still wines.” Chardonnay wines generally originate from Burgundy, France and from California. They may carry the aroma of citrus and may have undertones of toffee, or vanilla. Chardonnay wines pair well with chicken and fish.

• Sauvignon Blanc- These wines are also lighter than Chardonnay wines. They are produced in the Bordeaux district of France, Australia, and California. They carry the aroma of herbs and fresh grass with undertones of pear or berries. They are considered to be a versatile white wine and pair well with chicken, seafood, pork, and salads.

The most popular types of red wines include:

• Zinfandel- The most popular type of red wine. Zinfandel wines can range from a white Zinfandel, also called a rosè or a blush wine, to deep, rich, velvety reds. Zinfandels are only produced in California. They tend to have a berry aroma and often have a “peppery” undertone. They pair well with tomato-based pasta dishes, grilled foods, and pizza.

• Cabernet Sauvignon- This is one of the “lighter” red wines, often used as an introductory wine to those who are unfamiliar with red wines. This type of wine is produced in California, Chile, Germany, France, and Australia. Vanilla notes are common with this type of wine and generally comes from the cask, not the wine itself. It pairs well with all types of meats, cheeses, and desserts.

• Pinot Noir- These wines are highly sought after. The grapes are difficult to grow and blending them takes much practice. They are mainly produced in the Burgundy district of France, Oregon, California, Australia, and New Zealand. They generally have a light, fruity aroma, with undertones of cherry or plum. They pair well with grilled salmon, chicken, and lamb.

Other Wine Gift Ideas

Other types of wines that are currently making the news include several new varieties such as Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine.

Prosecco is making wine news for being less expensive than champagne, but with a fruitier flavor, and for missing the “bite” that often accompanies the end of champagne.

White Merlots are making wine news also. They have been around for some time, but have just recently become popular. They are lighter than Red Merlots, but heavier than a Chardonnay. They pair well with cheese and fruit.

The newest wine sensation is the Moscato, the new sweet go-to. This wine was actually made popular by the Italian restaurant “Olive Garden.” They employed the tagline of “liquid frosting.” This wine pairs well with both fruit and cheese. It is the perfect wine for those who like a sweet wine without a lot of “bite.”

If you are searching for wine gifts, any of the above types of wines would be appreciated by the recipient. If you are unsure what type of wine he or she prefers, a rosè or blush is always a good choice, because it is considered an “in-between” wine.

Wine Gift Clubs

If you’d like to give an impressive gift, consider enrolling the recipient in a wine club. Wine clubs generally send out one or two bottles of wine each month. The wines can be specifically chosen by you, so that he or she receives a personalized wine.

The wine delivery can also be chosen with an option that delivers a different type of wine each month. This choice gives the recipient the opportunity to try a wine that he or she may never have tried before.

Wine and Cheese Gift Baskets

If giving wine as a gift, you may want to consider pairing the wine with cheese gift baskets or a club that delivers a different gourmet cheese each month.

Enrolling the recipient in both a wine of the month and a cheese of the month club is a very smart idea.

If making your own wine and cheese gifts, not all pairing will go as easily as you may think. Simply follow and remember these simple rules:

• White wines pair best with soft cheeses and strongly flavored cheeses. You may want to consider pairing a Riesling with Gouda, a Chardonnay with a mild cheddar, or a Sauvignon Blanc with a goat cheese.

• Red wines pair best with hard cheeses and mildly flavored cheeses. Consider pairing a Cabernet Sauvignon with a Camembert, a Pinot Noir with Swiss, or a Zinfandel with a sharp cheddar.

• Dessert wines pair best with a pungent cheese. The Moscato pairs very well with Blue Cheese.


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Wedding Gifts

Category : Gifts

Choosing wedding gifts can be incredibly difficult. Traditionally, wedding giftshave tended to be centred around the home; guests would opt for kitchenware, towels, bedding and other household items. In 2011, however, many couples have a already set up home long before getting married and so trying to select a gift that they both want and need can be very tricky indeed.

Of course, many couples opt to compile a wedding list of items that they like, however it is also true that very often the items displayed on wedding lists can be beyond the budget of some of the guests. The challenge lies in finding a gift that is affordable but also desirable, and the wedding gift hamper can offer an ideal solution.

Putting together a hamperthat includes a selection of quirky, unusual, carefully selected items can make a huge impact, admittedly not the same impact as the his & hers Rolex watches (that were strangely the only remaining item on the wedding list!), but this is a case where the thought really does count. A beautiful photo frame for displaying the wedding photographs can be a lovely wedding gift and a perfect addition to awedding hamper, his & hers personalised items are always a winner and of course you can’t go wrong with champagne!