Thursday, December 24, 2009

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

Short on Stocking Stuff and yet the clock ticks away on Christmas Eve? There are 24 hour Walgreens and CVS's and grocery stores that you can still go to for stuff. Here are some suggestions:

For the Sweet Tooth:
*There are so many custom candies for the holidays--- stuff the toe with the individually sized stuff like baby snickers, tootsie pops etc... or go for the Chocolate covered marshmallow santas, Reeces Trees, M&M's stuffed in plastic candy cane shapes, or those little samplers from Whitman that have 4 gourmet chocolates in a stocking sized little box.
* How about little bags of Famous Amos cookies or the large size Mrs. Fields or chocolate dipped Oreos that come out this time of year?
*Those little, individually wrapped chocolate truffels by Lindor are to die for and better than most gourmet chocolates in my book. (Add bubble bath or champagne and you have a full-on gift!). But they are also sold in full bars!!! Another favorite bar -- Cadbury's fruit and Nut bars. Those are great for anyone, but are a favorite of hikers and bikers too. It gives energy and protein from the almonds and rasins in the chocolate.
*Granola bars and little 100 calorie bags of Crasins (cranberry rasins) or pocket bags or cashews or almonds are great treats for the health-minded.
*For those who are diabetic or dieting, thank fully there are all kinds of makers coming out with very tasty versions of all our favorites in sugar free bags. Russel Stover is one. These are found at any CVS or Walgreens.

Lastly, there are all sorts of mints and gums in cool packaging to be found at the register or candy aisle... good for all ages and tastes.

Practical and Useful: We all use, need, and run out things like these. It will be appreciated.
*A full sized toothpaste or a new toothbrush... or replacement packs for toothbrush heads on Braun and other electric toothbrushes.
* Contact lens solution or brand new little white plastic contact cases
* Nail Polish Remover or all brand new nail files (if she has acrylic nails, ask the clerk which ones are for that).
* Dental Floss-- I think the best is GLIDE by Crest
* That new foaming hand soap that comes in pump bottles perfectly sized for the bathroom or kitchen or work room sink. Some have seasonal designs and scents.
* $15 Starbucks or Subway cards
* You can also go by McDonalds and get some kind of Gift certificates for low denominations. May hold true for your local Denny's, IHop, Pie place, etc...
* Eyeglass repair kit with those tiny screwdrivers or glass lens cleaners and shamys to wipe good for camera bugs too)
* Blistex liquid lip balm or Burts Bees
* Favorite Advil, Eccederin, Bayer, Tylenol.... whatever
* Energy saver light bulbs

For the Beautified: (Pick name brands for these products, not the drugstore label -- Lancome is always quality, as is Neutrogena, which is good for those with allergies to additives and fragrances or sensitive skin)

* Nail polish -- if you're not sure of a color, You can go for clear, fire engine red or thenatural looking french pinks. Opi or Essie are good names, but Sally Hansen is fine too.
* polish drying sprays or top coats --my all time FAVORITE is called OUT THE DOOR by inm and is clear colored. Amazing!
* Lip gloss --if in doubt, stick to clear so it can turn any color stick she has into glossy lips
* Cuticle clippers that are new. Old ones can not work as well anymore so replacements will be appreciated.
* Bubble bath--again, maybe not a great idea if she is fragrance-sensitive. Ask the clerk for what is a name brand or good quality...
* If you know what shampoo or body lotion she likes, go for it. Nivea Smooth Sensation in a big steel blue bottle is smooth -- just like they say, and a favorite of mine.

For Guys:
* Batteries always are welcome, especially for those who live in areas that get heavy weather (D batteries and AA especially)
* A roll of real Duct tape -- which is expensive and can be used for so many things, he'll likey
* A big old black Sharpie... especially the new ones that have the click tops, so there is no lid to loose.
* Gum, mints, tic tacs, cigs, lighters, adhesive sore-muscle heat pads or those ice packs that you scrunch up and they magically turn cold.
* new shoelaces either for black dress/work shoes, tennis shoes or work boots
* shoe polish or kits... I love the slim cylinders of shoe cream with the touch up sponge in the lid made by Kiwi

In general, go to each aisle and see what you can find... measuring tape? Needle and thread traveling sewing kits? Stain fighting bleach pens or Shout wipes for someone with toddlers? Gardening or heavy work gloves? Dr. Scholls shoe inserts? Night lights?

And since Bluray is in, and stores are trying in this economy to move product, you may find some great DVD's for cheap ... i got Dreamgirls at Krogers for $4.99 the other day.

Lastly, any of those "as seen on TV products" that fit your person... they are usually pretty great, albeit kitchy, things! And if only for looks and sentiment, don't forget to add a candy cane at the top! Happy Holidays to all, and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Best Books Lists and Links

A few book list suggestions til I can get mine up. You can click on the name of the person to get to the link or cut and paste the one provided in case you have any trouble.

Oprah's list:
http://www.oprah.com/article/food/partyplanning/pkgholiday/200812_omag_books

Author Stephen King's 10 best list from 2008 (still looking for 2009 which appeared in EW magazine which as disappeared from my desk!):
http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20162677_20164091_20244426,00.html

Best Books of 2009 from NPR:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120499960

From the New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/gift-guide/holiday-2009/10-best-gift-guide-sub/list.html

And the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/features/2008/holiday-guide/gifts/best-books-of-2009/

Best Books of 2009 from Publishers Weekly:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6704595.html

From GoodReads.com, a really great site for regular book fans like you and I who make their own recommendations and reviews.
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1297.Best_books_of_2009

Tips and Last Minute Ideas

I know -- just a few days to go and you're panicking.

Or maybe not! But last minute gift buying is how people get into trouble. You just buy what's there and often can spend much more than you wanted to. I encourage you to go out with a list and try to stick to it. And use cash or at least a debit card if you are one of the many in this current economy who are not in a place to handle large credit card bills come January.

There's still time to order online, though you may have to pay a pretty penny to get it delivered by X-mas. The good thing about New Years being so close is that a box arriving in the lull between X-mas/Kwanzaa and New Years Eve doesn't seem late, but kind of welcome... so if it gets there on Dec 28th, in most cases, it's fine.

HERE'S A BIG TIP: When you order online, before you check out, open a new tab on your search engine and Google the store name + coupons. 90% of the time you will find a code in seconds that will save you $5, $10, 25% off your order, or get your free shipping! Just plug it into the field that will come up as promotional code and hit the apply button to see your total change for the better. I just discovered this two years ago and I can't believe how much I've saved!!

A great last minute gift that gives a lot of bang for your buck is a magazine subscription. Run don't walk to your nearest large news stand, or Barnes and Noble or Boarders where you can spend a rather pleasant bit of time acquainting yourself with the incredibly diverse collection of offerings. Each has a little card inside, which you can pilfer at no charge. Then you can either come home and look up the website or even call to expedite things.

The mag should send out a card announcing your gift, but at this late date, it doesn't matter. I suggest you buy a copy of the mag you want to give, roll it up and wrap it with a bow or put it in a shirt box in lots of tissue and wrap that. So you give the issue as the calling card for your gift to come. These can be as low as $11.95 and yet it gives ALL YEAR LONG. Best of all, they will think of you each month when it arrives. I think it's the best value out there.

Also, I still think the gift of music is a wonderful thing... and I suggest you make it yourself, putting together a play list of anywhere from 10-22 songs (whatever you have time for or your CD will hold). They key is to try to make one that's geared toward the tastes of the receiver. If they don't love Opera, don't go there. If you don't know their tastes, maybe that's not the thing to make for them, but if you CLICK HERE I wrote up a few ideas that will cost you little in time or money to make and give.

And then there are books. I hope put up the posts I've been working on with book recommendations in case you need ideas, but my Christmas starts early with step kids this year so I don't know if I will. For now, you can google best books of 2009 to get many lists. I suggest a browse thru your local bookstore or asking a knowledgeable staffer to help you pick something generally good, if you are not 100% sure of the interest of your recipient. Worst case, good quality coffee table or photo book is a safe bet.

Lastly, while I would prefer to find an actual gift for folks, many do appreciate gift cards. And when you get them to generic places like a bookstore (where they can also get CD's and
DVD's and even candy and stationery items) or a general department store like Macy's is a win win.

Get creative with certificate at a restaurant or coffee shop they like to go to. For teens and college age, (and many grown ups, like ME) an Itunes card is a sure fire welcome bet. They may also like a card to Gap or Banana Republic or Abercrombie. If someone is a new home owner or a fixer upper type, how about one from Home Depot? Newlyweds go for Bed Bath and Beyond. Starting a new Business -- try an Office Depot or Staples GC. New Parents - ToysRUs or BabiesRUs. A Tech Head (or most men and boys )-- Best Buy, Circuit City, Academy Sports Store. If they have any apple product, and Apple store card will make them think you're the coolest. There's also a card called Spafinder -- you buy a denomination and they check a website that lists many spas that it can be applied to in their area. It's good coast to coast. And don't forget the Starbucks Card...

There are also cards that can just be like cash -- AMEX or Master Card brands work like credit cards toward any purchase. Just read the fine print at the back for news of fees and expiration dates. Many cards are offering no expiration these days.

Fortunately, you can go to most CVS's or grocery stores to find all that I've mentioned.


Or, you can call any beauty salon or spa to buy a gift certificate over the phone and have it waiting at the Salon for your loved one to walk in and use. You can wrap a box with a Card inside that you make up saying as much if you want to hand them something.

You can always send food or flowers/candle centerpieces still. And I have often called a florist in the town someone lives in to get it done in 24 -48 hours, rather than relied on the extra time and fees going through national services. Just Google the town and what you want and call. I have sent cakes, cookie assortments, hams and turkeys, champagne etc by calling a local grocery store and pleading my case to the MANAGER. I have given my card number on the phone or faxed a copy of it and my drivers lisc, and they can fax ore- mail a receipt if you need one. Where there's a will there's a way. At this time of year, though folks are busier, they also are in the spirit and try harder to make it happen. Get the names of who helped you in case something goes awry. I have had incredible things happen using this method, and often want to send THEM a thank you note!

I will follow with a general list of Stocking stuffers, so come back! And keep scrolling down back to October for gift ideas. Still not to late to get items in stores near you or delivered!!! All photos on this post are mine :-)

The Little That Says Big


Compatible with all new Iphone and Ipod units, this little charger is battery operated and hence... no need for being near a plug. Now that we are addicted to these gadgets, I find this kind of thing imperative to have, lol. Great for traveler, camper, exec or mom on the go, and I bet your teen or college kid will lurve it! on sale from $39 to $26.99. CLICK HERE


For your writer or late night thinker, insomniac or someone who likes to record dreams... A self-lighting bedside pad to write on in the middle of the night.

They're selling something like this at Bed Bath & Beyond for $10, (I bought a few) but I think this one found at Restoration Hardware is a little cooler. Both have pens, but this one has one of those space pens that writes at any angle. Both light up but his one is triggered by the pen hitting the paper, where the BB&B one you have to turn on yourself. It's on sale from $25 to $17.49 and for the right person would make a great little gift! CLICK HERE

Friday, December 18, 2009

For the Sporty


Hardly a comprehensive list, here are just a few items of interest.

OK, this is something I want... an elastic, easy to put on holder for your binocs or camera. Great for birders, travel photographers or nature buffs who need their hands free but don't want heavy equipment banging around their neck... especially when you bend over. That has to be better for your back and neck too. CLICK HERE to buy now on sale at Cabellas, from $19-25. Comes in black, tan and camo! UPDATE: they are currently back ordered but you can find others by Googling "binocular (or camera) suspenders" and similar phrases to find like designs, though I think Cabellas are most versatile. May find on Ebay too. Just make sure the connections are neutral for any binoc or camera that has strap hooks. Some have different configuratoins in back, so look for one that will work best for you.



For the Angler in your life, this is a nifty little carry all pack that doesn't get in the way of that fishing arm! There's even a detachable pocket that can move from front to back. Adjustable strap.

CLICK HERE to find at ORVIS for $49!

How about a portable boot dries that takes care of wet shoes and boots overnight... helps keep free of bacteria developing as well. It's practical, yes, but what is worse than wet feet in the great outdoors? There are two -- one for $14 on sale adn the other for $34. can't tell the difference but I assume one is more powerful? CLICK HERE and HERE to see for yourself.


thank you to named website for use of photos

Fresh Food For Baby


While I've kept most suggestions this year to $50/25 and under, there have been a few truly unique items that I had to mention, and this is one of them. CLICK HERE to find at Williams Sonoma, a French fresh baby food maker called Beaba Cook.

It does so much -- I'm taking this info straight from the Williams Sonoma Website:
  • A steamer, blender, warmer and defroster in one compact appliance.
  • Steams vegetables, fruits, meat and fish in less than 15 minutes, preserving vitamins and flavors.
  • Purees or blends foods to the desired consistency.
  • Quickly reheats or defrosts precooked foods.
  • The machine has no traceable amounts of BPA.
  • Recipes included.
That website has a video of what it does as well. 232 reviews rated it 4.7 stars out of 5 and you can get it for teh health conscious new parent or child in your life for $149.00. Pass the word along!

Now That's a Bargain


Can't beat this... a set of six wine goblets for only $16.95!!!! At your local Crate and Barrel. Amazing! CLICK HERE to find out more.

Keep scrolling back for more gift ideas... they go all the way back to October for goodness sake!
And pass this link on to anyone you know who it might help. I get nothing out of it but the joy of doing it, so the more people who can benefit, the better!

thank you to Crate and Barrel for the pictures

For Lovers

Oh you crazy kids... can't stop holding hands but baby it's cold outside?Here's something really unique... Called Smittens,made of Polartec fleece. One tandem mitten and two solo! I saw them at Red Envelope, Amazon.com, Uncommon Goods and Restoration Hardware... to name a few. Running about $34. Google to find near you!

And if they don't make it in time for Christmas, they would make a great New Years surprise, winter anniversary or Valentines gift!!

thank you to restoration hardware for the picture

Thursday, December 17, 2009

For the Budget Minded

Times are tough and several people I know are saying they aren't in the Christmas mood. Many aren't due to finances, but I think that one of the blessings of this kind of time is that the truer meaning of Christmas can resurface-- the spiritual reasons, the contemplation of a year past and the hope a new one brings, spending time with family, breaking bread, serving others who may be in even greater need. But I also see how a return to things found and made require we give much more of ourselves, cause us to think more about the person we craft it for... and they are enjoyed in equal measure because of it.

The Gift of Music:

My favorite thing to give and receive is a home made CD... I don't have any fancy label making software or buy name brand discs and cases...

I take my time thinking about the person and their tastes, and sometimes I give people something I think is good that might expand their usual fare. Today with Itunes and a laptop that can burn CD's easily (you can buy cheaper, non-name brand stacks of CD's at Office Depot or Staples and they work perfectly fine). Type up the playlist by title and artist and print it out on some colored paper, then tape to the inside of a jewel case... or even give in an envelope or a paper case... Make two different discs or even a collection of a few more, each for different moods or seasons or whatever. In the process, you will discover new or rediscover old music you love and remember the power that music carries.

"Spirit" Box
There is plenty to be worried about these days, and often we feel helpless. Create a sacred box that your loved one can use to turn whatever's keeping them up at night or dragging down their day over and let it go... You can take any kind of box and cut out pictures of whatever you think will enhance the meaning of the box for the receiver... you can simply glue those on, or add decoupage (easily procured for a few bucks from your local craft store), You can paint it a soothing color. Or you might find a box at a flea market or garage sale. It could even be a basket, but I suggest it has a top. There is something theraputic about shutting the lid on the issue of the moment. Include a little pad of paper and if you'd like, a fountain pen (see here for one under $4) or a cool pencil or something with colored ink. You can write a card with directions essentially saying that this box is to hold their troubles and questions, letters to people saying what they couldn't say in person, forgivenesses, etc... Write it on paper and put it in side, then let go and let the universe work it's magic. Make it as simple or elaborate (adding an inspirational quote or poem) as you like.

This of course could be used as a gratitude box as well.

Appreciation Book:
I once made up a book for a friend... 25 reasons why -- take your pick: I love/admire/repect/appreciate/am crazy about you, want to be your friend, love living my life with you, can't live without you" for starters. It can go to a significant other, a dear friend, a mentor, your kids, grandkids, etc...

I made up a list over a few days of everything that came into my head on the topic. The best ones stood out and I chose from that list a smaller list. I arranged each in the order I thought worked and found a little notebook with a hard cover. Places like Kate's Paperie, places that sell small photo albums or brag books work well. You can go to town making little collages, writing on related or meaningful pictures, etc... but I just wrote the words on each plain white page, nicely, neatly maybe, but believe me, simple words are enough if you're not up for an art project.

Another version can be a jar that holds 365 little notes, quotes, etc... personalized for whomever the receiver is... I put one on this blog a few months ago (CLICK HERE to see) and I thought, this would be very easy to make CLICK HERE to see that example. This site will give you many other ideas besides the example I used that was for a sister.

Plain Ol' Photos
Yep, people still love photos, even though you might be able to see them all on Facebook. Photos you can hold in your hand, frame, preserve in an album. With many of our at-home computer printers able to do photos, that has become easier, but again, I am low tech... I take a disc to any CVS or Walgreens and use their little machines for a buck or so a pic (watch the circulars for weekly deals). If you don't want to do that you should be able to drop them off at your local Wolf Camera, Staples, Office Depot or Kinkos and have them do it all for you for not that much more.

You can give as is, include with a photo album, put them IN the album yourself and give that or frame (if you have a good eye you can find them cheap at drugstores, Walmart or discount places like Kohls, Loehmans, TJMaxx, etc...

Two takes on this idea -- my mother in law has tried to print the photos I e-mail to her after we've had a party, Thanksgiving or Christmas together. And I only send one or two of the best ones of the lot. I am putting them all on actual discs for her to have and do what she wants when she wants. I will also print a few of the better ones and give them together tied with a pretty ribbon. That way she has everything, but also some of the best already to see and display.

My sisters make a habit of digging out old photos of relatives or mom and dad when they were young and slowly, over time, have been copying them for each of us in the family... each year we get several, and they are just WONDERFUL. You may need to go out on a limb and call an aunt a cousin or a family friend to find things to surprise everyone with but boy is it worth it!! Even if you only give one or two, the history and sentiment has major impact and will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Not just any Recipes:
Just like the photos, we all would like that recipe that grandma made, or mom, or aunt so and so.... or all of them. If you can get hold of those, write it out on a card of some sort, preferably one that's durable (or you can go to town and laminate it at any office supply store) and give it as is, in a card with a related memory, or in a box or book with blank spaces for them to add more. Food, like music, bring us back to different times and places immediately, so nothing could be more personal, more honoring of your own legacy than these kinds of gifts.

The Gift of Make Believe, Fun and Play:
Superhero in a Box, for ages 3 and up, one size fits all somehow... CLICK HERE to find for $14 at Restoration Hardware. But hmmmm... Cool idea for any age-- this is something you could make at home too. It doesn't need to be Halloween, as you know, since kids love to dress up. Seems even without being able to sew, you could make a bunny in a box by getting a little set of ears and a tail and a pink tee shirt including an eyebrow pencil to draw on whiskers. Red Riding Hood in a box? Fireman? Doctor? The possibilities are endless...
Great for impromptu family theater, photo sessions, etc... as the day's festivites wind down and there's all that time and no school!

And I don't even have to mention that there are adult versions of this one, lol... the french maid, the fireman, etc...

Food, Glorious Food!
It is a time for eating, drinking and being merry... so even if you throw some cinnamon sticks and nutmeg into apple cider or wine and pour it into a mason jar, make rice chrispie treats (I dice up those red and green candied cherries you can find this time of year to make flecks of christmas color in them), put split peas and chicken bullion into a jar and tie an artfully written soup recipe around the lid with a pretty ribbon, or go to town cutting out cookies and decorating them, I guarantee it will be welcomed and consumed. I have popped my own corn and drizzled caramel on it and dipped mini pretzles into melted chocolate and let them dry on wax paper over cookie sheets and given those away. Also, hard candy recipes abound... with a little karo syrup and a thermometer and some tasty extracts, you can put some local stores out of business!

Hand Crafting:
It goes without saying that if you knit a scarf or afgan or booties, sew up stockings or a hat, bake clay or carve wood to make ornaments, or can whip up a cloth dollie, you HAVE to know it will be the BEST GIFT. Yes the world has become high tech, but nothing beats the time and thoughtfulness put into something made by the hands and heart. And yes, some of these take time and there are only about 9 days left til Christmas and Kwanzaa. But it's something to think about.

If you have any ideas, please share them in the comment area! Hopefully this list got your wheels turning, and will revive your spirit a little. The true gift of these times is that we realize what is more important and identify what isn't, learn that we can indeed live with far less, while we need each other more... If there was ever a time to be filled with the true Spirit and meaning of Christmas, this time--right now-- is.

More Stuff for their Sock



Here is a cool thing: A race car night light, on sale for $12.49 from $18
CLICK HERE to find.

Jumbo Playing Cards are 4-1/2"W x 7"H and also on sale for $12.49 from $18 CLICK HERE



Golf Ball Personalizer... Puts up to three initials on the little white things... very cool. On Sale for $14.99 CLICK HERE


CLICK HERE for a little Air Force one replica, on sale from $14 to 9.49.



A photo coaster set... on sale for only $16.95? CLICK HERE Includes cream colored Matt for 4 2x2 photos.
These are GREAT!!! I give them and I use them too. So much easier without the long handles. Wooden Salad Hands -- at Bed Bath and Beyond for about $12 or these ones made of bamboo, from Crate and Barrel for $19.95 CLICK HERE for the latter.

MORE SOCK STUFFERS TO COME... Keep checking back.

thank you to each listed website for the pictures

This n' That



Here's something new... mixing bowls made of silicone so they can pour more easily. Set of three from William Sonoma is $49. CLICK HERE to see more. I personally like their Melamine bowls with a pouring spout. They come in several colors, with 4 bowls... and are $38. CLICK HERE to see. I liked last year's model which had a handle better, but I guess it does take up more room in the cupboard. Great for pouring pancakes, muffins, cake batter, and omelettes.

For the Moderns on your list, this classy, simple, elegant Ona vase can be found at your nearby Crate and Barrel for $18.95. CLICK HERE to find pretty pictures of it with flowers and water.


Or maybe you'll want to pick up this bedside water carafe and glass for only $19.99. M ake a really nice gift for a man or a woman. CLICK HERE .




Verrrry purdy mercury--- and should accent most decor - modern, Deco, glamorous, Shabby Chic, even country style -- at holiday time or year round. Hand blown, 4" or 6". Best thing is, it's at your local Pottery Barn and they're only $12-$16. CLICK HERE for details.

I know that there's many Bear fans out there. How about this cutie, from Red Envelope for $29. 16' high.

As of this date, plenty of time for delivery before Christmas. CLICK HERE to order.
thank you to each listed website for the pictures


Do YOU have a gift idea? Please leave it for me, and everyone who visits here, in the comments! Thanks!

"Reduce Your Forkprint"

That's the clever tag line for this unique and inexpensive gift item.

Have you heard of T0-Go ware? It's great stuff. I first discovered it when Oprah gave it away on her show and gave a discount coupon to all who are members of her website. I went on, I ordered, and not only do I use it, I'm giving some away this Christmas. Then I saw it in Whole Foods and other natural products stores...

Well, I'm no Oprah but I do have a 25 % off code for you that's good til 12/25/09 on purchases of only $10 or more. Just write in HOLIDAY25 when you order thru the website.

There are two things I reccommend... perfect for the green ones on your list. These bamboo silverware sets are stylish, compact and go anywhere easily. They come alone or as a set in a variety of canvas cases (I like the one with a snap closure AND a caribener clip pictured) so carry them in your purse, car, back pack, or briefcase..

Great for frequent travelers, stocking stuffers, picnickers or someone like me who eats on the go but hates to waste those plastic utensils over and over (we can forget those are piling up as much as those plastic water bottles and never biodegrade!). Plain silverware set pictured above is only $7.50, ones in this canvas holder are $11.95 (five colors, order sets of 5 for less) and each pack also comes with bamboo chopsticks.

My other recommendation are Tiffin sets... consider them as metal tupperware that interconnect to make for easy carrying. For hot or cold foods. I saw these all over India, where perhaps rice is in the top container and a soup, salad or entree is on the bottom. And each come with the little tin you see in the picture for dressings or whatever. Great for the increasing number of folks with allergies or special diets who like to bring their own food with them, perfect replacement for the lunchpail yet equally chic and interesting for the executive who lunches at their desk.

They suggest you give them stuffed with your own fudge or cookies... a nice double gift. And you can also order custom made shoulder bags making carrying them a hands free deal.

CLICK HERE to start shopping!

Thanks to To-Go Ware for the pictures

For The Table


Another useful and easy item to pick up at your local Bed Bath and Beyond are these Christmas Themed serving utensils. They are made by Lennox, so are especially nice for someone who has their long-standing holiday china or serving pieces. But if not, they still make great gifts, as we do so much entertaining and feasting this time of year...


This pie server is ivory china, dishwasher safe, and $14.99 CLICK HERE to see details

Now these are the ones I bought for myself, and they are only $9.99 each. They are substantial to hold, well made and impressive so it's a great bargain. They also have a pie server not pictured here, which you can find on the web (see below). CLICK HERE to find.


You may want to call your local store to see what they have before you go, and you can always still order from the site if they don't have it in.

If you don't have a BB&B nearby, these all can be ordered off the Lennox site itself, or you can Google around for Lennox at a discount and find some of the pieces. I don't know that they come at better prices since they are new (I looked).

Snow You're Stumped As To What to Give?


Here is a great little, all round, give to almost anyone gift that you should be able to run out to your local Bed Bath and Beyond to find. It was in the Bridal Registry area in mine, near the finer china,

The Spode Silent Night Christmas Tree Globe. It's only $24.00... less if you have one of those 20% off coupons that littler the Sunday papers and your mailbox (you can sign up your e-mail and get a one time 20% off... they even gave me mine in the store at point of purchase since I said I signed up at home and didn't get one -- which was true).

For kids or adults -- This is a high quality globe, pretty snow swirls for quite awhile once you tilt it, and there is a wind up music box crank that plays a very nice Silent Night. CLICK HERE to find. And my BB&B, I also bought a really great modern santa with a long list inside a snow globe by Spode but I can't find a picture of it.

I didn't see this in my store but I thought it was unusual so I'm listing it. Made by Waterford, a replica of the Times Square Ball... a good thing to give if someone's having a New Years Party, a Wedding on New Years or for yourself if this is just s special year for you. Plays Auld Lang Syne. $49 CLICK HERE

These last ones by Fitz and Floyd are quite nice, with more traditional figurines, so there is something for every taste. $49. CLICK HERE



There are other local places that should have snow globes, like Macy's (You want to call or check first). Neiman Marcus always has them, but they are in the $150 range....

Keep Scrolling Down for gift ideas going back to October!

Thanks to BB&B website for these pics

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Easy to Find For Kids (and Adults!)


Now here's something you can consider if the new Beatles Rock Band is just too expensive. For $11.99 you can get your kids singing along to these covered Beatles songs CLICK HERE for one place to buy (and see song list) or check your local stores.


This might be as much for new moms and dads to doze to in the rocking chair at 3AM but Jewel came out with a CD called Lullaby this year. Made up of the songs she wrote in harder times to comfort herself, it's a pretty little album to give or receive... CLICK HERE to see it, though you can find this anywhere locally.


You've seen it everywhere but I just had to include Fancy Nancy's Splendiferous Christmas. At every darn bookstore near you. A colorful romp through her larger that life world, perfect to get in the mood of the season.



Now on CD, all 5 of the Olivia Books read by the fabulous (and perfect) Dame Edna! CLICK HERE to buy for only $9.99


Just a few for now folks.

Scroll down to see more gift ideas, or click FOR KIDS on the tags on the right of this homepage.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oooohhhhh!

Now THIS is a pretty bag.... I am not keeping to my mostly $50 and under suggestions on this post, 'uz it's just too nice not to show. CLICK HERE to buy at Ann Taylor for $115. See the code below for 25% off!


I saw this glass pearl and ribbon necklace at Ann Taylors and promptly bought it... for moi. You have no idea how sparkly and festive it is!

It will take everything plain and black I have in my closet and instantly make it say "Holiday". This pic does not do it justice.You need to click on the link and see for yourself. It's $58... (but the jet black one is offered at different link for less -- $50 online. CLICK HERE for that black).

I got my purchase for 30% off because they were just having a special off everything in the store last week. Right now if you order online and put the code PRESENTS in at check out, you will get 25%off! CLICK HERE.... now!!!! Or, call your local store and see if they have it and can hold one for you. Comes in four colors-- I got the clear beads with the smoke string, but the smoky camel colored beads and the teal blue ones are really pretty too.

Play and Develop Skills

What to get the Tween, if not the Twilight USB drive mentioned two posts down? How about this, if she or he loves fashion or is a budding entrepreneur?


First you have to have the multi-function purse size Nintendo DS, which plays games and also is a music player and digital camera. You can find it new at places like Walmart and I imagine Target etc... but since they are in the $170 rangeyou could also find some gently used at Amazon and on Ebay for much less...

Then add the Style Saavy game for $30, your kid can spend hours learning to be an entrepreneur or stylist to be. The game puts her/him as the owner of a boutique, where they do the buying, mixzing and matching of trendy fashions and accessories, looking after a stream of customers and watching the funds.

Click Here to read more about the game and see actual demonstrations. Thanks to hotgifts.us for the pic.

Cozy Toes

We've all seen Uggs... As in kinda ugly. But their popularity has something behind them... warm in the cold, cool and cozy in warm months, these high quality boots from Australia have taken Hollywood, and much of the US, by storm. If they haven't landed at your house, consider this... they now make pretty darn attractive slippers for men. In suede and leather, and 5 colors from black and charcoal to light tan with browns in between.
Normally $100-110.00, you can find these now on sale at Amazon for as low as $89 and maybe lower elsewhere if you google. CLICK HERE.

You can lok for Uggs of all designs and colors (check out the UGG 5678 KENSINGTON which looks like a motorcycle boot and the UGG flip flop), for men, women, and kids on the web and in many shoe and sports stores near you.

Keep Scrolling down for more gift ideas. They go back to the end of October!

thank you to Amazon for the pic

More Tech


This is a very pretty white and silver Bluetooth headset for the fashionista or executive woman on your list. Sleek and pretty, it's called "theFirstOne" by Novero. CLICK HERE to find it for $149


Oh yeah, these are fun. Get your Star Wars 4GB USB drives here! Yoda, Darth, Stormtroopers. They come in 8 and 16 GB too but the prices listed here are for the 4GB

After a cursory sweep of the web, I found the lowest price HERE for $29.99.

They also sell a 4GB one for your Twilight Fan for $34.99

Thanks to Craziestgadgets.com and techgadgets.in for the pic

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Dopp Kit


Some guys, like my husband, may prefer this kind of water resistant, who-cares-if-it-gets-stained, hanging kit for toiletries, like this one. You can get that for $28. on sale by CLICKING HERE or just look for one in any of the stores you have nearby. IT's nice for every day use, or for travel - -hiking, biking, camping too. I'm putting it up to give you the idea.

But I always think a smart, classy gift for a man is an old fashioned leather dopp kit. Wonderful for the boss, a star performer at the office, your best client because it's personal, but not TOO personal.

Grandpa, Dad, husband, boyfriend... good for everyone. These do come in canvas and microfiber for the more active, casual, or younger man, and there are many offshoots of the design below (some have lower compartments that zip, for example).

Some can even be monogrammed. Here's one from gifts.com that does it in embroidery right on the leather for only $54. And right now you can get 15% off personalized items using code GIFTS330. CLICK HERE!

Or it can be done with a little brass plate. This one in green is pictured without but if you CLICK HERE for J.Hume's products you will see the example. This one is $120 and it's $19 more for the plate... A lifetime guarantee comes with that expense... Also comes in buttercream canvas and leather.

This one's from Fossil, in black (as pictured) or honey brown leather for $50. CLICK HERE to see. I think this is an all around crowd pleasing design.

There's also a site called Ebags that I'm impressed with. Have ordered two purses by designer names and both were over 50% off. Plus they arrived within 48 hours with no big shipping charges. CLICK HERE for a link to a plethora of men's tolietry kits, all fabrics, colors and prices.

Check out this cool cream colored leather by Marc Jacobs. CLICK HERE to buy on sale from Zappos for $93 down from $128. Free shipping and guaranteed by 12/23 as of this date. It's my favorite of all. For the hip, urban man.
thanks to said cataloges/websites for pics