Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Gifts for the British Royal Family Fan

Between The Netflix original The Crown and the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, a new wave of British Royal Family Fever has swept the nation.

Sounds like someone you know? Here's a selection of fun gifts for the Britophile:

Oh YASS - Wrapping paper made from Megan Markle's fashions! Or choose Megan and Harry. Better hurry - they may be limited in how fast they can ship it and get it to you.  $18 for a 20 x 29" wrapping sheets, $6/sheet (sold in sets of 3). From SophiandLili.

The Crown reawakened the glamorous and tragic early life of Princess Margaret - and this book, called "A brilliant, eccentric treat" by the Wall Street journal, this begs to be perused. $22 for hard back, $10 for paperback at BARNES and NOBLE.  TIP: Memb get get 10% off but also regularly get emailed coupons for 15-20% off. 


Set of two beautifully made hearts - one with the Union Jack, the other with the Royal Crest. Edged in gold, beaded with faux pearls on blue velvet.  $16 from World Market.

Or Windsor Castle, which looks like nice quality.  14 pounds (about $18 USD) from  - have to get on this one as it ships from England. Find at the Official Royal Collection Shop.

CHECK THIS OUT! You can make Buckingham Palace out of LEGOS. This photo does not do it justice. It is $49 on the LEGO site, but as of this date, it's ON SALE on Amazon for $39

Tweeds and sensible shoes, riding and hunting, walking the moors... nothing says it like Wellington boots, or Wellies - for men, women or kids. They run about $150 for adults - less for kids - you can Google to find them everywhere, for every price - sports stores like EMI and Cabellas, hunting stores, zappos, etc... But here is the official Hunter Brand site: You can get 10% off for giving them your email. You may also want to buy the thick knit liners that fold over the top as well.

OR you can go less traditional and find all kinds of colors and patterns at places like Zappos. These are only $55 for women.

An official cookbook from Royal Chef Mark Flanagan himself, revealing his recipes for afternoon teas through the seasons. Picture yourself using these recipes to create your own spring picnics,  summer garden parties, or a proper tea with Christmas extras. $22

Royal Wedding Mug for Prince Harry and Meghan. Each mug is hand-made in Stoke-on-Trent, the home of pottery, using traditional methods which have been perfected over hundreds of years.
Buy At PBS.org for $35.00.

Prince Philip's Godson, Interior designer Ashley Hicks assembled his photos and description of Buckingham Palace's lavish and little seen interiors in Victorian, Edwardian and Regency styles. Beautiful and a well organized photo- tour!  $34 for Hardcover at AMAZON.

Of course, there are a plethora of DVD's on the subject, from a full Season 1 and 2 of The Crown, Victoria, Queen Elizabeth's 80th birthday celebration, Diana, Our mother and other documentaries, and several Hollywood movies like the Kings Speech. Click to see 11 choices of films from Cosmopolitan Magazine, then hunt for them at Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, or Google for the best place to buy them online or near you.

And what would the holidays be without a tiara to wear while watching those movies? Or running errands?  Just Google Royal Family Tiaras to find them for as low as $15 - 20 for a hoot or more lasting replicas on Amazon for $70-80.

I like this book - a good one to end on:

"A Royal Christmas is the first official publication to explore the fascinating Christmas traditions of royalty past and present. Drawing on many previously unpublished objects and images from the Collection, this highly visual book offers insight into the influence and charm of royal festivities."

See Christmas dinner menus with recipes, photos of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret doing Christmas activities, many tales of the season (ie: Queen Victorias telling when Prince Albert fell through the ice while skating), and gorgeous party jewels.  Again sent from England, this runs about 16 Pounds ($20 USD). Hardcover from the Royal Collections shop. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Great Gift! Special Chocolates by Maggie Louise Confections

Looking for something that's not the same old same old to give? 

This chocolatier is the answer !

LOOK at these chocolate boxes from Maggie Louise Confections!  I don't know how they taste but I'm not sure I care - but by their descriptions, they sure sound good!

A little something for everyone - from your clients, to your boss, your coffee buddy, your GlamBomb - and there's special boxes just for Texans! They have boxes to bring for tailgating, for Thanksgiving, for bridal showers and bachelorette parties... check it out! TIP: Free Shipping on $20 orders and if you give them your email,  you get $10 off your first order. 

Not just for the cocktail lover, a restaurant or bar owner (or bartender), the below would be a hit to bring your host anytime of year and especially fun to give or serve on New Years. 2 Martinis in Dark Chocolate filled with Salted Caramel, 1 Lemon Slice in Solid White Chocolate, 1 Champagne Bottle in White Chocolate filled with Chocolate Caramel + Sea Salt, 2 Olives in Milk Chocolate filled with Chocolate Nougat, 2 Caviar Canapes in Solid Milk Chocolate, all for $38.

They offer a box of four of this Martini set for $16.

While you can bring or send any for Hanukkah there are three choices specifically for the holiday: $16, $28 or both for $48.

Let's follow with the Nuts and Bolts for your rugged sweet tooth: 3 Bolt Squares in Dark Chocolate filled with Salted Caramel and 3Screw Squares in Dark Chocolate filled with Hazelnut Mocha Crunch for $25.

A little something fun for your coffee bud? You can get this small box of four pieces for $16 and there are bigger ones as well.

And for the Glamorous, this FUN set for $25.

And of course, there are several holiday themes a plenty!

Visit the site to see ALL their options, jewels, rocks, cactus, champagne, ornaments, all in various combinations from 2 pieces to whole boxes. And see their faces light up when they open them!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Great Gifts: Teach Kids How to Tell a Story

This one was so unique it needed a post of it's own!

And to describe it accurately, I pilfered their own wording from their Amazon Page:

How to Tell a Story combines the surprising whimsy of Mad Libs with the compelling fun of storytelling cubes. Its exercises and games will have readers mastering the basics of storytelling while exercising their creative muscles.

An incredible storytelling package—A 144-page book paired with a collection of 20 six-sided, beautifully illustrated storytelling cubes that make it easy for any imaginative child (and that is every child) to start creating wonderful stories. Roll the blocks, and you can make anything happen, to anyone, anyplace in this or any other world.

The book is a guide to the principles of creative storytelling. It covers the essential elements like conflict—that thing that no one likes in real life, but without which no story could ever start—characters, motivation, dialogue, theme, and, of course, the climax. As you turn the pages, you’ll be prompted to roll the story blocks. And that’s when the magic starts to happen.

The blocks are coded by color, each loosely associated with a part of speech. A simple exercise about motivation, for example, asks the reader to roll the blocks and find one red block (person or animal) “who wanted nothing more in this world than to” one green block (action). Depending on the outcome, the reader might end up telling a tale of a cowboy who just wanted to dance or a mummy who wanted to race cars.

And who knows where that journey will end?

Get yours on AMAZON for $13.99. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Give the Gift of Gold or Silver Zodiac Necklaces

For holiday- and especially for their birthday, consider these pendants with their that has been featured in a few magazines from - drumroll please - OLIVEBELLA, an ETSY artisan.  And yes, that is gold you're looking at.

If you have a silver person on your list, you can also get them in silver that is low to tarnish HERE.

Really something special! You can choose any zodiac from a chart like this...

Then add an initial or star or moon charm to it. 
The chain can measure 16", 18" or 20", all for $41- 45! 

All in all, a really beautiful and special, personalized thing to give, and you'll be supporting an artist over a big box store at the same time! Kudos to you!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Great Gifts for Kids 2018

I just LOVE these hand made mermaid blankets, and I love supporting local artisans, or mom and pop stores. There are several makers on ETSY, but this is a nice one made by BabiesandCuddles.  Right now, the kids size is 50% off - $19.99 They also make toddler, teen and adult sizes. It's wool, but you might be able to request another yarn type if needed.


How about these great HARRY POTTER Coloring Books? There are many to be found on Amazon, Target and Walmart for about $12, but you may want to check if your local bookstore can order them (we aim to keep brick and mortar stores in business!). Five in all. Get them at BARNES AND NOBLE for as low as $8.49.  Add a pack of colored pencils, markers or crayons and you'll have a lot of quiet time to relax by the fire!

THIS! Attach to their bike, add some big chalk and they can create designs by the way they ride - or just leave their mark for up to 15 miles!  Easy to put on and take off, it works with all bikes inc luring those with training wheels. Fat Brain Toys  for $19.99 in red or blue.

Add the Chalk, natch, for $6.95 for four colors.

THESE ARE THE COOLEST! What kid would not want to watch these crystals grow from nothing? Included is enough to create 7 unique crystals in various colors, each with their own display case - so besides the activity to make them and watch them grow, they are a keepsake forever after. ALL this in the 4M Crystal Growing Experimental Kit for only $13.99 on AMAZON.

Oh yes, I totally made those thin mint cookies (albeit a misshapen version) with a little girl in an earlier version of this oven. She really loved using it and I loved that we could have that fun together.
There is a window through which we watched the cookies bake, and we used the melting station to get the candy coatings to ooze over the top of each cookie.

The Girl Scout Oven by Wicked Cool Toys, on sale at AMAZON now for $39.99. Comes with all you see - which includes a thin mint starter kit. If you scroll down on the Amazon page you can see options to get more batter to go with it.

For kids or the Kid in You - Melissa and Doug's Award Winning Make Your Own Fuzzy Monster Puppet Kit! Encourages imagination, creative play, dexterity. 30 pc set of reusable, self-stick eyes, ears, antennae and accessories to mix and match. $24 from their website, and Googled to find the least expensive: ($19.99) on Amazon.

If you have a LEGO fan at home - or more than one, this can come in handy. Customized Lego trays by Etsy shop FreestyleMom.   These are 10x10 for $39 and come in several colors, with your kids name on the side. order by December 8 to get by Christmas!

And check this out - which is compatible with LEGOS to add to the package...

Sound Activated Light Blocks: For 50 blocks in several colors you can build any shape you want - abstract, a plane, a skyscraper, a robot... and clap on. It can stay lit, fade, flash - fun as a night light as well.  Find on Uncommon Goods: $30 for 50 pieces, $100 for 250 pieces

It's early in the season so there will likely be more to come. Check out the entire category of Kids Gifts from past posts HERE.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Give that Special Kid a Personalized Book

Forget the tablet and the iPhone and raise your kids holding a book. And what better way to get them engaged than to hear their own name!

These are wonderful! And there's so much variety.

I See Me makes personalized books with a variety of themes for different ages.  Personalized books range in theme and cost between $29-$34.

For example - you can put his or her photo in a book about them as a superhero that also uses their name in the story...

Or have a book that comes with a CD to do sing alongs:


Or this one that comes with a Hanukkah bear as well as a book. 
TIP: This has a sale that ends in 4 days from this publishing so click the link to check it out and see if ordering one is the right thing for you.

Free Shipping with $60 or more.

Get 10% off $50 or under using the code JINGLE10.  
Get 20% off when you spend $51-75 with the code JINGLE20.
Get 30% off with the code Jingle 30 for spending $76 or more! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Gifts for Those with Dementia or Alzheimers

One of my most popular posts ever was the one that made suggestions for giving to a loved one with dementia. Having had both parents suffer from this in different ways over many years, I know first hand how difficult it can be at gift giving time. Even the rustle of paper, or if it's too shiny, can be distressing. Or a box can be put on their lap and they do not know what to do with it anymore. Yet they do need things. And it can be hard on you, with a need to give or utilize the holidays as a time to bring joy and light into the daily struggle this can be. Hopefully some of these suggestions will help. 

Universal Tablet Stand. If your loved one is relaxed enough to allow this frame on either side of them, this can be a great thing for face timing with family, enjoying seeing photos during your visit, or for overnight caregivers to help your loved one settle down and focus on a nice movie or music during those long otherwise restless nights. Can be used on the couch or in bed. Only $40 from The Grommet.

An induction range is best to eliminate burns but if you can't fully replace their stove, you can get the other unplugged or turned off and give them one or two portable induction cook plates. This will keep them safe and allow them - or more likely you or caregivers - a way to do it safely. $49 on AMAZON.

The switch that turns on the light when they walk in the room. Great for entranceways, bathrooms, storage rooms, basements. This is pricey, but can really be worth it in the right scenario.  It's got a big name... the Leviton OSSMT-MDW Multi-Tech PIR/Ultrasonic Occupancy Sensor Decora Wall Switch. CLICK HERE to read all it's features and order for $64. TIP: As of publication, it's ON SALE for 20% off it you sign up for the mailing list.

A clock with the date, day and time in large print is really helpful. Best of all, it can be mounted on the wall or put on a surface. You may want to put one in every room. Comes in white or black frame. Google around - varies in price by about $5. This one was lower from Amazon at $48.99.

There are also talking clocks, but depending on your loved one, it might freak them out or be the best thing. Find it at SeniorCareShop.com for $99.

This is GREAT - and I think I offered it a few years ago - in case you don't click the link at the bottom to visit past posts here it is again. A lit from below night light that goes on their nightstand.  half off now  - $99 at SeniorCareShop.com.

TIP: Please read this very important article on what you can get them (really, yourself, and the caregivers) in terms of technology that can help with things such as getting up at night, walking off, overflowing sinks etc. It's great. Thank goodness technology is there to help because we can't be there every moment! DementiaChallengers.org. The entire site is a wealth of info! 

The Advanced Style coloring book:  If they can enjoy or be stimulated by coloring, this is fun -  and keep up their motor skills. Why not have them coloring people that are their age -and stylish to boot? Best present will be if you color with them.  $9 on AMAZON.N.

TIP: Pick up some fun crayons to go with them - Go for the Jumbo Crayons ones that are easier for less coordinated hands to hold. And get the 8 colors -- at this stage, less choice is less overwhelming. And be sure to collect them all when done and store safely. My mom would reach for them to put them in her mouth on occasion... no different than the safety tips for a toddler.

You can get washable large crayons for $1.99 at Target and 10 Jumbo non toxic from Playskool for a buck at Holler.

Keeping their hands active and minds stimulated in the early to middle stages helps a lot with calming agitation and relieving boredom: Like this activity pillow for $54.00 from SeniorCareShop.com.

Or this one for $52.00 from SeniorCareshop.  There are many out there e- and if you have time and can sew solidly, you can always make one yourself! They also come in "muffs" where their hand can go inside and the other hand can use ties and textured balls and such on the top of the muff. Google around for one you like.

If in mid to later stages, it's wonderful for them to to have a soft "pet" which brings as much comfort and happiness as live service animals with none of the work. Get one that is super soft, with a great face. While they do have purring cats and breathing napping puppies in beds, there are collars and batteries in their bellies that you want to avoid for mom or dad's wandering hands. Also -make sure you check the size - some of the ones out there are tiny - some too big. Pick a size that's huggable and that they can fall asleep with.  This 12" (not a bean or rice filled) stuffed Lab is a great example, for $10 on Amazon. Google around for the breed that's right for them.  I want one!!

These are EXCELLENT conversation cards that reconnect the generations and help older people to share their stories and happy memories. Use together to reminisce from the 1940's and 1950's. It's listed in British Pounds so order quickly to have by the holidays - but really, it sounds like a great thing to have for anytime they arrive. They have a way to click right to your paypal account. About $35-40 from ManyHappyReturns.org.

Handy Man Box $69.00 One of the rare gifts for men with Alzheimers, he will be busy with the different latches and shapes on this box... and may appreciate it more if he did woodwork, construction, repairs, etc..  once upon a time.CLICK HERE to read more and buy.

Craftastic Empower Poster Kit - A great little kit that looks like a simple art project but does BIG things to inspire esteem and bolster identity (and it ain't just for kids). Choose from a wide range of positive, descriptive words that describe and celebrate who you are and arrange them on brightly colored tissue and paper to decoupage. Only $11.99.

The senses are good to stimulate but in just the right way. Something soft and cozy as well as warm (but not hot) is a great win. Who would not want a new heated blanket to keep by the TV or put on the bed? This heated one from Sunbeam is reliable and reasonably priced. There are different colors. Red can be cheerful this time of year - but there is also the all-round pleasing blue quilted fleece for $34.99 ON AMAZON.

How about black and red plaid for the hunter or outdoorsman Dad for $42 on AMAZON. Google around for more.

This beautiful blanket comes in two hues of blue and a green all of which research says are calming.  - and older bones get so cold, and also need extra padding, as do those with diabetes, and people who need to be turned to avoid bedsores. Twin to King, and $149-209 Google "LL Bean coupon codes" before you shop to see if there's anything out there you can apply.

I featured this back in 2009 and it's a good one to put here. Apparently this is the solution to most of life's problems... a heated mattress pad.

My friends rave about this. Some live where it's warm weather year round -- Texas and California -- and others where it's quite cold. I guess it serves both. Taking the chill off on those cool nights in moderate climes, but working much better than an electric blanket or water bottle where it's really cold. Also good for back pain or joint aches and icy tootsies. And best thing is, apparently both sides are independently adjustable. That's a marriage saver. From COZYWINTERS.com from on sale $84- $169 and they say it's not too late to order and receive before X-mas. What's more -- I noticed they had a cooling AND heating pad for about $449 on sale. CLICK HERE for that one! 

Sooth neck, head, shoulders and upper back with this warmer, also by Sunbeam for $49 on AMAZON.

How wonderful a heated foot bath can feel - may be a hit or miss for those in the latter stages but it's worth a try. Warm and relaxing, and good for stimulating circulation for those with diabetes (check with your doctor first). By Brookstone - $129 but on Sale for $99 on Amazon. but there are sure to be sales and other sites with the same for less. Like this ConAir for $30 but be sure to read the small print to see what makes for such a large discrepancy in price.

CLOTHING: Get comfortable, easy to move in and put on, washable clothing only. You can keep it cheery and get them in their favorite color to stimulate them and bring some life to their lives. Reds, pinks, purples are nice on her, and the brighter blues, handsome greens, black watch plaids and tweeds can be nice on him. While they may spill on top, I would stay away from anything light on the bottom, where accidents can happen and be more visible, even after washing.

Their skin is very sensitive, so keep away from scratchy wools or major polyesters that will pill or become hot. Go for 100% cotton (which shrinks up not in and only in the first two washings if in HOT), or flax, which breathes, knits, fleece for warmth without cost or upkeep issues like cashmere had, Spandex for stretch pants, merino wool if wool at all, which dad would probably still like.
  • Robes, wrinkle-free nighties or PJ's
  • Track suits
  • Undies and socks - which they wear close to their skin at all times. 
  • For women, bras that had thick straps that are padded, and front hooks are best

Here is a thin, easy to tie, organic cotton robe in pretty colors with one pocket - $46-58 from Bed Bath and Beyond. TIP: Don't forget to use their 20% off coupons, available for signing up to their mail list, getting catalogues or text messages. 

Or go for a thicker robe just remember it needs to be easy to slip on and not have too long a tie to trip on. I would go for terry cloth but stay away from velour, waffle robes (too thin) or fleece (unless they are frail and get really cold where they live). Cotton, Flax,  Bamboo or microfiber are great.

For those with diabetes or circulation problems, these Compression socks are great. There are a zillion out there so you can just google. However, this is a nice article to breeze through just to get up on the basics before choosing- from WebMD.

Here's a great way to make all their lace up shoes slip ons - while staying snug so they will not trip over laces or turn an ankle in their worn but favorite shoes. Best part? It eliminates the need for them to stress because they've forgotten how to tie their laces! Small durable elastic bands that snap in your lace ups. In all sorts of cheery color combos -  or just navy, black, white, or gray. ON SALE for $15.99 while supplies last at HICKIES.

Another option is to get slip ons with velcro. You want them to get into the shoes easily, but you do need to secure the shoes (no flip flops, or slide style slippers without backs to secure the heel) as it's too easy for them to slip and fall even from bed to bathroom, or lose one while walking halls, depending on how far along they are. You also want to keep them able to put their shoes on and take them off independently for as long as possible - and these suggestions aid that.

LED light slippers. Perfect for illuminating those late night trips out of bed. This should only be given to someone completely stable and in early stages. There are no backs on these slippers so it's important that THAT aspect will not create a fall. Putting it here just in case this is for you. $40. Find it HERE.

If she's not sensitive to scent, perhaps a lightly fragrant lotion - if only for her hands or face - will brighten her day, like sun coming in the window.  One nice one: Evelyn Rose lotion, $28  from the high quality and reliable Crabtree and Evelyn.  Contains shea butter and evening primrose, almond and coconut oils, formulated without mineral oil, parabens, phthalates or propylene glycol.

My personal favorite is Origins Night-a-Mins cream. I use it night and day because it's so pure and because it's lightly citrus scented - like oranges. People comment on it all the time if I have just put it on after washing my face. She can wear it on hands, neck, elbows... whatever works. It's oil free and stocked with vitamins and minerals, but if you read all the reviews, people always mention the lovely scent, like I do. And I am terribly allergic, so very sensitive to scents, and go fragrance-free 99% of the time. This is something so light and delicious I can enjoy it! $44 for 1.7 oz jar,  at Macy's. TIP:  it's $37.40 if you use the code FRIEND. I'm stocking up right now!

How about for him? If he was a guy who worked with his hands, chances are they may tend to get cracked in winter. O'Keefe's healthy hands lotion may be for him. You can find it at most drugstores in the green tube or jar for about $6. It's on Amazon, at Target, etc.

But this may be more needed: If he or she are also diabetic, they need to be careful about foot care: O'Keefe's makes Healthy Feet, a highly effective moisturizer for severely dry feet crack and split. The absolutely odorless, concentrated formula naturally hydrates the skin, adjusting the pH balance and helping to retain moisture. It's non greasy and hypo allergenic, specifically listing that it's safe for diabetics. It takes just a few days to see a visible difference! $6.69 for 2.6 ox at Target. 

MUSIC:  this is an easy way to bring people back and elevate their mood. Since those with Dementia tend to remember their earlier years best as things develop, burning or giving CDs' of their 20-30's might be best, or soundtracks from their favorite movies, or musical plays - like Oklahoma, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Sound of Music, Easter Parade, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Singing in the Rain, A Star is Born,  etc... If you need to jog your memory, visit flickchart.com and plug in the era you'd like for the musical movies you are looking for. I would stay away from anything that sounds ominous, even if it were a favorite, like Phantom of the Opera.

This is a wonder CD - for $24 ON AMAZON. You can find Volume 2 also ON AMAZON. The same company makes the m for cello, flute, guitar, beethoven etc... They can all be found by scrolling down on this link. I have personally only listened to these two classical CD's I am recommending.

Black and white movies from the old days are great on DVD... DVD players and monitors are so affordable these days, and more straightforward than streaming movies on cable or DISH.

If you have more specific needs, there are many things you can get for your loved on through sites like EasierLiving.comAlz.org and the excellent Dementia Challengers.org. 

Find ALL past posts on gifts for older folks, home bound or those with dementia HERE.  

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