Saturday, December 20, 2014 - Full of Great Gifts for Your Techie, Tool Junkie or Fixit Fan

This is so good, it should have been on my Top Gifts of 2014 - and I will add it, but no one will see it now unless I make it's own post - and it deserves it too. I just discovered this from! There's lots on the website but they make great tool kits with all the things needed to get into your iPhone, tablets and computers - or when there are teeny tiny things like eye glasses or the battery/fuse boxes on Christmas lights that are INFINTESIMALLY small...

Here's a few selections - The Pro Tech Tool Kit for $64.95 down from $100!  I swiped their details below. CLICK HERE TO BUY.

70 tools help you dish out sweet repair justice.

  • The industry standard for computer repair technicians and businesses.
  • Tools selected based on data from our thousands of free repair guides.
  • Will tear down all mainstream laptops, cellphones, and flux capacitors.

Kit Contents:

How about this one, which they used at a place that rescued the info from my completely dead iPhone?
The Pro Tech Screwdriver Set for $59.95. These actually come tucked into their own little sheaths in a gray nylon velcro case similar to the one above. This pic just shows their ends better…. CLICK HERE TO BUY. Read their details below the pic:

One screwdriver set to rule them all

  • 15 fixed-bladed drivers make a wonderful addition to any workbench, eliminating lost and misidentified bits.
  • Specifically chosen by our technicians, these drivers will work great for 90% of electronics repairs.
  • High-quality SVCM (Silicon, Vanadium, Chrome, Magnesium) steel shafts with rubberized handles and spinning caps make these drivers iFixit staff favorites.
  • Black Oxide tip increases grip, durability, and corrosion resistance.
  • Bundled together in a custom-designed tool roll, this set collapses to a small 5" x 6.5" x 2" bundle.

Set Contents

And now for a few accessories that could be very helpful to your tinkerer. 

The Jimmy Tool, so named as it's just right for slipping into the hardest to reach gaps  to jimmy delicate metal pieces open.   Ergonomic handle.  CLICK HERE to buy for $7.96 GREAT STOCKING STUFFER.

And this magnetic work board, which I am sure will cut down on frustration and expletives as every one of those tiny metal pieces that could drop and become invisible will instead stick to the surface of this board that's like a placement for the thing they're working on. 

Line divided areas make it easy to stay organized and it doubles as a white board so they can mark what's what or note the order of steps to undo what they need to re-do.  CLICK HERE to buy for $19.95

And they were so nice as to make a GIFT GUIDE for your tool or fix-it junkie. Categories are: Gifts Under $25 and Socking Stuffers and IFIXIT Exclusives. Don't hesitate to check it out!

And the rest of the site has guides for how to fix many things, from your computer to camera, your car to appliances, as well as a question and answer forum. Amazing! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Give An Experience!

People say at a certain point in life that they have what they want or could buy it themselves… or they are trying to declutter. Or what about the person who had everything or is hard to buy for?

What if you want to do something really special for a special someone - or if you just have no clue of what to do… You really can never lose with giving an experience. 

You can do this two ways - if you have the money, you can go wild and check out this site: CLOUD 9. Check it out anyway just for fun!

Search by your city or region for the most popular experiences, or by category, such as action and adventure - be a fighter pilot for a day, learn to fly a helicopter, be a race car driver or get golf lessons wiht a PGA pro.  Choose from 1800 experiences nation wide.  You can also GIVE A GIFT CERTIFICATE and let your recipient decide... after they stop screaming while jumping up and down.

Pick your region and find wine tours, restaurant hops, dinner cruises, indoor skydiving, in-home cooking classes, kayak tours, mother/daughter or couples photo sessions, bull riding, paint ball, astrology readings,  zipline, bungee jumping, brewery hop, trapeze lessons, sunset balloon rides. The list is fairly endless.

Cloud 9 has been around for several years and gets recommended a lot. I have not tried these sites below but I am just doing the legwork for you if you wanted to compare what else is out there. 

Here are a few others to browse: EXPERIENCE DAYS has a pop up menu when you first sign on that offers 10% off to sign up to the mailing list. I usually do that then wait till it comes (quickly )into your inbox, then use that 10% for the current purchase.

GREAT AMERICAN DAYS gives you same day e-mail gift certificates. 

And there's EXCITATIONS which seems to be least impressive on their website but who knows, they may have something at the right price in your area.

If you have any doubts, give them a call.

If you have little dough but are creative, you can do as much and as wonderful in a very different way.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking. Just let your creativity go. And don't worry about presentation. Print out pictures or type up a description or get markers or a calligraphy pen and write it out like a certificate on colored paper. Put them in a box and wrap it. Roll it up an dried a giant shiny ribbon around it. Get some of the things that might go with the gift and put them in a basket... you get the idea.

Check your local zoo and Aquarium for behind the scenes experiences with the animals, or things like being  vet for the day. They often cost little for max impact. I got to feed a lion and did an ugly cry through the hugest smile I've ever smiled because it was so moving and AWESOME. I was dizzy, had a great story, and truly forever changed. All for about $55. How valuable is THAT??

Get tickets to something like a baseball game, Blue Man Group, Stomp, Circque du Soleil, the Planetarium...These won't break the bank and are not like plays - they are all round pleasers, and you can never get a bad seat, even if you buy the bargain seats.

How about a home cooked meal for your foodie, something their mom made them, or their favorite dishes that you usually only have once a year (like a full Thanksgiving dinner served in July). Get out the good stuff and set the table with it, candles and toasting glasses, even if they are filled with sparkling water. Present it or have them come into the kitchen to keep you company - the below just may happen!

A museum trip that you plan and pay for (include transportation)  for your art lover. Maybe add in a lunch, brunch, or cocktails in town around it. You can include brochures from different museums in the area to help them choose.

For a spouse, give them a promise to do the dishes or laundry for six months – or give them a few weekends where they can do whatever they want, alone or with you. And make sure to do it!!!

For a parent, give a free night of babysitting. To them, this means an evening doing whatever they’d most enjoy doing without having to worry at all about their children.

There are so many other things:
* Commit to the big, long games like Monopoly or Risk,
* Get a 10, 000 piece puzzle to give to mom or Grandma and do it with her,
* Doing some kind of craft or baking with them, and providing that's needed

* Give a boxed set of a movie/series someone special has been wanting. Watch it together.
* Promise to learn that card game Grandpa likes and pledge to come over 4 Sundays of his choice to spend a few hours playing it - and bring snacks and libations!! And take pictures to remember it all!!

Hopefully this will get your wheels turning, and I bet you will end up feeling it was one of the best gifts you've ever given.

Photo credit for baking and game night:

A Few More Gifts for Kids - Some Grown Ups Will Like These Too!

The Backpack Telescope from Sharper Image: The Backpack Telescope with Tripod was specially designed for travel. Take it to the beach, the campsite, or anywhere there’s a clear view of the night sky. With 118X magnification, it’s ideal for casual stargazing as well as more terrestrial pursuits. Features fully coated glass optical elements and a smooth functioning azimuth mount to help you locate objects horizontally or vertically. Includes tripod and carrying case. Ages 14+ Only $59

And this is Time's pick for best gift for kids this year: OSMO -- the video below explains it best.. Apparently the Apple Stores sell them for $79 so you can run in to your local store and still get it. If you order it because you want it for a birthday or sometime later - you can get $15 off the price if you order for delivery on December 30th - why not make it a New Years Day present?… CLICK HERE to see about both.

The Kymera Magic Wand Remote Control gives you the opportunity to perform magic in your own home! An ideal birthday, housewarming or Christmas gift for any Harry Potter fan, the Kymera Magic Wand Remote Control will have friends and family spellbound as you zap to your favorite shows or AMAZON for $80 (kind of expensive, but not if it's just the right thing).
even mute them with a flick of the wrist. Imagine walking into the room with your children and their Muggle friends watching TV, whipping out a magic wand from under your jacket and changing the channel in a flash. Why not add a magic spell into the equation to really impress them! Available on

Take it to the next level with this triple snowball blaster. Why throw snowballs when you can launch them instead? The Triple Snowball Blaster shoots snowballs up to 80 feet with amazing accuracy. First, use the built-in snowball press to make three perfect snowballs. Then, load a snowball into the launcher, pull back on the slingshot-style band… and let it fly. Your outdoor opponents will raise the white flag when they see you headed outside with the Triple Snowball Blaster. Ages 8+.  $39.99 at SharperImage

The movie Big brought this into our consciousness and now you can give it to someone yourself. "This soft keyboard features 25 large, touch-sensitive keys so you can literally tap out a melody. Or, find a partner and perform a duet. The Giant Piano Mat has five different play modes, eight instrument sounds, ten pre-programmed melodies, a built-in speaker and volume control, plus an input jack for your MP3 or CD player." Ages 3+The Giant Piano Mat, for $99

Fanciful bird wings - Choose from purple/blue as shown, brown/yellows, and greens  for only $16. Fabric with lovely feather detail comes with shoulder and finger straps, encouraging hours of imaginative play. Get on AMAZON.

Or how about these Eagle Plush costume wings! Spans 52". for only $13.71 also on AMAZON.

Great Waterproof Camera Backpack

This is A GREAT GIFT!!!  
A backpack that will keep your camera buff's equipment completely dry. 

Provides 100% Water-tight protection. At  14" high, 12" wide, it holds large 35mm or digital pro SLR; 4 5 lenses (up to a 300mm f/2.8, with hood reversed) and best of all - it's fully customizable interior for any system.

When properly closed, the DryZone 200 will float, even when fully loaded!!!!
SlipLock attachment slots allow you to attach additional Lowepro accessories and pouches.
ON SALE for $329 on Amazon

I want one! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This isn't a gift, per se, but it is a good thing (sorry to sound like Martha)…. a Virtual Menorah.

You can choose what kind of candle you want to light, and do it each night of Channukah and have no fire, no smoke! Volia!


William Sonoma Went Wild for Chanukah

Chanukah begins this evening. Thank goodness for 8 days, because I am late with this post!

While I do have a category that you may have already looked in, I thought I couldn't find anything that was new… until last night, when I was pleasantly surprised to discover that William Sonoma has a whole page devoted to it.  Here is the best of the bunch - and act fast if ordering Latkes.

TIP: Enter code FREESHIP at check out. 

I think this is a wonderful gift or using it yourself to bake gifts in it: The Star of David bunt cake pan for only $29.95.

Elegant dreidel place card holders, embellished with the letters for nes gadol haya sham (a great miracle happened there). Artisans craft them by hand in the ancient art of cloisonné, using filigrees of wire to create the delicate details, and then firing the glass enamel to produce a vibrant, shimmering finish. Can be made into napkin rings as well - no two are alike. CLICK HERE to buy at $19 each. 

Giant Caramel Apple with Nuts (sorry to those who are allergic! Why didn't they make one without too?)  $34 Certified Kosher by CRC.

There are three Latke offerings BUT MUST ORDER BY 12/17, for "Christmas" delivery (odd to say that): The set of "extra-sweet" minis, great for entertaining or keeping kids occupied, for 48 count for $49, or these full size Latkes.

And these minis which are GLUTEN FREE! Also for $49.  ORDER BY 12/17. They were made in a factory that contains wheat, if that is a deterrent.  Looks YUMMY!

And how about this vintage design Le Cruset cast iron pan in blue? "Re-creates the enameled cast-iron cookware that Chuck Williams brought over from France over half a century ago. This heat-retaining wood-handled fry pan has straight sides and a black-enameled interior that requires no seasoning." From $99-145.

They had a nice little gift box filled with these shortbread cookies and brownies, for $24, certified Kosher by Star-K.

And CLICK HERE for their cupcakes. They have dreidles, stars and gold coins atop blue frosting but are $59 for 9 of them, so I didn't list them. If you have an unlimited budget or they are just right, go for it!   Make cookies of your own with this set of four cookie cutters, each with a different hebrew letter, for $24.99. Makes a nice childrens' gift on one of the early nights, so you can use them together through the holiday.

A pretty two tiered serving stand to offer cookies and gold coins to guests… with a silver- rimmed blue pattern of temple  menorahs. There are other plate sets and serving trays with this same pattern. For $59.

Put it all on a table cloth, inspired by Miriam, sister and protector of the baby Moses, incorporating her symbol, a stylized hand. Jacquard woven from yarn-dyed cotton, the smooth, they say the lustrous tablecloth will only become softer and more beautiful with time and use. Yarn-dyed 100% cotton. 14" border design. Machine-wash. Three sizes, price ranging from $129-159. They also sell napkins and runners as shown here.

Forgive this shiksa if I botch it, but it comes from the heart:
Chag Chanuka Sameach! to all who celebrate. 

You can find previous posts for Chanukah/Hanukkah by CLICKING HERE. If links don't work just Google around and you should find it. Prices may have slightly changed.

DIY Gifts! Give the Handmade for Men, Women, Kids!

Good for any budget - the only thing you need is a little time. And with it only being December 15th, you've got it. Most are self explanatory… you can find hundreds of ideas on Pinterest and through many blogs…

Beer Lovers would welcome a 6 pack of some exotic flavor, local brew or special ale - and they are hard to wrap. Why not start the laughs first thing with these?

While we're on deer -- have a newborn in the family? Who would not love these little footprints- including Mom giving it to Dad or Dad giving it to Mom?

But back to libations - this is easy but will be oh so welcome. I could see you doing it with coffee too -  freshly ground coffee would need to be in a ziplock in a glass coffee cup, with Marshmallows or vanilla powder in a smaller ziplock on top with the key ingredient - Baileys or Irishon the side! 

The DIY Mommy came up with this great looking gift idea - a twist on the old gift basket:

Why give him socks in a box when you can sock it to him with a foot care basket - complete with a coupon for a foot massage by you (or if it's not your thing, learn it - but worst case, get him a GC from a local masseuse). Add slippers, pedicure stuff, foot powders, gel inserts, socks for whatever sport he plays etc...  Idea from

Love this idea - cubicle snack bottles for him. From I Am Momma- Hear Me Roar.
Works great for grandkids pics or to give to the Godparents in your kids lives.

Fantastic!! For those of you who are NOT knitters, like me, I think we could do this. You can make this chunky cozy blanket in 45 minutes they say. Find the directions on

And if you'd rather make this scarf (and pick something with color - or black while you're at it - this tan color was to best show the patterns I bet) here's a YouTube Video that tells you how to do it in 30 mn. 

If you met online and live in two different places, are in the service, have jobs in different cities or have a long distance relationship for any reason - can go for kids, parents, etc -- this is a sweet and easy thing to do that will mean a lot:  Find on 

Hens and Honey has a recipe for making dreamy Body Butter: 

Or how about this peppermint scented trio - sugar scrub, whipped lotion and foot soak. 
Find directions on

These sugar scrubs make it seem like you have brand new hands - after using them they'll be so soft, smooth and fragrant. Before you know it, you'll be making vats for yourself and using it on face and body too. But first - making it for a gift! Found on

Fun to make with the kids - and Grandparents will treasure these for years to come: 

Make these no-slip socks for kids or grandma! Idea from

For those of you who can sew, make a cute sock monkey easily. Get all the directions on Delightful in this yellow and gray, but wonderful in any color combo!

How about this cool idea? Find the instructions on You could of course make these into anything theme, from Frozen to Hogwarts to princess-y to Transformers.

Make your own texting gloves - and though these are for kids, you can of course modify for adults. 

For those who CAN knit - here's a great idea that they will actually USE: Coffee Cozies. Make in gorgeous navy, forest green, taupe, or black and charcoal gray for men, with other symbols or none at all. Give in pairs to a new couple or Grandparents. Give with hot cocoa or coffee if you like.

And while we all have made cocoa giveaways (great to bring to pass around at the office, or for party grab bag gifts too) these are a really creative way to do it. Love that these include shortbread or wafer cookies to eat with them in the little vials. Great presentation! Find instructions on

How about Gumdrop fudge - colorful and different, like little presents lodged in snow cubes. Recipe from

Make candy sleighs and stuff their stockings with them! So clever and so easy! And you can make out of lindor candies, Spearmint gum, tic tacs for grown ups who may have less of a sweet tooth (but mine would be all Reeces and 100,000 bar minis). Self explanatory, but found on

Great for Scrabble lovers - and they are many - or just to use the pieces to say a clever I love you:

MMMM  - Make them Rosemary Tomato Pesto with this recipe from

And I may try this one from