Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

I’ve been wanting to compile a gift guide for years! I love hearing about what people suggest for gifts because I’m always on the look out for gifts to buy for people who are notoriously hard to buy for! (Admit it, we all have a few of those people in our lives–LOL!)

So, here’s a comprehensive list of items that I recommend. I have either purchased these as gift before or I use them personally and love them. Believe me, anyone would be happy to receive these gifts. :)

NOTE: All prices are accurate as I write this post. But you know the internet–prices can fluctuate. Also, most everything links to Amazon. I buy a TON of stuff at Amazon, plus you can group everything together for a better price on shipping. But please do check out craft stores for the crafty items as well. :)

Kitchen Favorites

  1. Prepworks From Progressive International Ultimate 19-Piece Measuring Cup and Spoon Set - $17.38 (Amazon) – I’ve bought four sets of these over the years to give away as gifts, and now the gift recipients are buying them as gifts for their loved ones! That’s how wonderful these are. It includes odd measurements like 1.5 cups and the hard-to-find 1/8 teaspoon and 3/4 cup.
  2. Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper, Arugula – $19.99 (Amazon) – I LOVE THIS THING! I pretty much use it exclusively for chopping onions because I hate my hand smelling like onions for five days after. I pop it in the dishwasher a couple of times a week. I recommend using a butter knife to separate the two pieces of the lid before putting in the dishwasher. Otherwise, water can get trapped inside. The pieces snap back together after its clean without any problem.
  3. Chef’n Extra Large GarlicZoom, Arugula and Meringue – $14.99 (Amazon) – Just like onions, I hate the smell of garlic on my hands. So this comes in handy! There is a smaller version of the GarlicZoon, but skip that one. You want the Extra Large GarlicZoon. I’ve minced up to 5 garlic cloves at the same time before. It’s so quick and easy.
  4. Fox Run, Silicone Baking Mat with Measurements – $15.23 (Amazon) – This is a recent purchase and I highly recommend it. I used it when rolling out pie crust for Thanksgiving pumpkin pies. It’s a thin silicone material that practically nothing sticks to. I only had to flour my rolling pin to prevent sticking. The mat itself sticks to my granite counter top and doesn’t slide around. Also, the measurements on the mat are handy.
  5. Pillivuyt Porcelain Heavy-Duty Large 14-by-9-1/2-Inch Lasagne Baker – $85.00 (Amazon) – This is a bit of a splurge item but SOOO worth it! I’ve been using this large casserole dish for six months or so and it’s my favorite go-to dish for anything that I would bake in a 9×13 pan. Everything I make cooks so evenly and it’s almost hard to burn anything in it. If I overcook something it just gives me nice, crispy golden edges. Plus, it’s great for thicker casseroles that tend to puff up while baking and threaten to overflow regular 9×13 pans. Because this one is deeper, I feel safe baking those recipes.
  6. Auntie Em’s Natural Cotton Kitchen Towels – $10.47 (Amazon) – My materal grandmother has given the adult grandchildren kitchen towels as Christmas gifts for years and we all love them! Who doesn’t need more kitchen towels around the house? She usually gives the towels with designs on them, but I love these kitchen towels in particular because they are super absorbent and hold up in the laundry well. I’ve given these as a gift and the recipient loves them.

For Crafters

The items on this list were picked specifically because they are items that 99% of crafters would love to receive. Non are style-specific, so you can give them to just about anyone.

  1. Scissors – (Amazon) – Who wouldn’t love new scissors? I’m constantly losing mine, so it’s good to have multiples on hand. I would recommend the EK Success Cutter Bee Scissors ($6.59), Tim Holtz Craft Scissors ($9.21), and Tim Holtz Shears ($15.74).
  2. Epson LabelWorks Label Maker – $34.26 (Amazon) – I’ve had this label maker for years and still love it. It’s great for labeling and organizing not only crafting supplies, but also other areas around the house. Definitely a multitasker. I recommend getting extra tape for it, too. I use 1/2″ black on clear ($13.99 at Amazon), and 1/2″ black on white ($19.99) most often.
  3. Epson PictureMate Charm Printer – $178.68 (Amazon) – I recently picked this up for printing 4×6 photos for an album I’m working on. It replaced an older PictureMate printer that I bought nearly 10 years ago. Great quality, and I love the convenience of picking the photo I want to use while I’m working and then printing just that photo. Otherwise, I’d be buying a TON more prints and having to leaf through them to figure out what I want. I think the upfront cost is worth it. Oh, and don’t forget to get an extra cartridge and photo paper pack ($29.49).
  4. White Gel Pens – (Amazon) -  I love both of these pens, and for different reasons. The Gelly Roll white pen ($4.47) is a bit finer and better for writing or fine details. However, I prefer the Uniball Signo Broad white gel pen ($5.29) for dashed lines or areas that need super bright, opaque white.
  5. Assortment of adhesives to try – (Amazon) – A pack of multiple adhesives to try out would be awesome! I recommend Tombow Xtreme Adhesive ($9.59), Tombow Mono Multi Glue ($3.99), 3M Foam Adhesive ($27.28), and the great multitasker Ranger Glossy Accents ($2.99).

For the Planner / Stationary Obsessed

  1. Marvy Uchida LePen 10-pack – $11.87 (Amazon) – I love all the colors of these marker/pens. They can bleed through thinner papers, but work great in Erin Condren Life Planners or planners with good quality paper.
  2. Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen Extra Fine Nib – $38.50 (JetPens) – This pen is AWESOME! It’s essentially the same as the Safari fountain pen from Lamy, except the body of the pen is aluminum instead of plastic. It has an expensive feel to it. And the extra fine nib is perfect for using in a planner. It’s a great “starter” fountain pen. Better quality than the cheaper ones out there. I’m a firm believer in starting out with good quality.
  3. Miyamoto Collection Retro Komon Pen Case – $16.00 (JetPens) – Hello? There’s cats on it! I really like this skinny pencil case. It holds a good amount of pens, too. I can fit 7-10 pens in this case comfortably, with room to move them around and find my perfect pen. :)
  4. Zebra Mildliner Highlighters – $8.25 (JetPens) – I adore these highlighters! And they’re double-ended, too. There’s a regular chiseled highlighter tip on one end and a bullet point on the other end. And I love that the colors are the usual highlighter colors. They’re more subdued.
  5. Twist Cord Striped Washi Tape Set – $7.95 (Paper Source) – I’ve been using washi tape to mark vacations and multi-day events in my planner for a while now. However, I LOVE using skinny washi tape now. It’s just as effective but doesn’t take up as much room.

Beauty / Pamper Her Gifts

  1. Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream - $18.00 (Sephora) – This stuff is AMAZING! I have super dry and cracked heels and this is seriously amazing foot cream. The first time I used it I put it on my feet at bedtime, rubbed it in (it absorbs quickly) and then put socks on. In the morning there was a visible line on my foot where I had applied it! The dry, scaly skin was smooth and silky where I had applied the cream. I’ve turned about 4-5 other people onto it, too.
  2. Soap & Glory Hand Food – $15.00 (Sephora) – Also an amazing product! And I love the scent. There are smaller tubes available which I like for my purse.
  3. Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Pedicure Foot File – $39.99 (Amazon) – Life changer! Like I mentioned above, I have horribly dry and cracked heels. This electronic foot file (along with the Soap & Glory foot cream) has completely solved my feet problems. I use the Amope a bit, slather on some foot cream, and then wear socks to bed. Problem solved. NOTE: I had to spend more time filing my calluses, etc. the first couple of times I used the Amope. But after getting my heels into good condition, a quick file and foot cream before bed is all I need for “pretty feet” maintenance.
  4. Shiseido Facial Cotton – $9.50 (Sephora) – These would be a great holiday gift! They’re are definitely a luxury item for me, but totally worth it! I use these for taking makeup off. They’re super soft and usually I only need one or two to get the job done.
  5. Othaheel Women’s Gemma Slipper – $34-$80 (Amazon) – For anyone with feet issues (planter fasciitis, flat feet, etc) these are great slippers. Excellent support, and the sole is sturdy enough that I don’t feel weird walking outside or taking the garbage can to the curb in them. ;)
  6. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette – $58.00 (Sephora) – I wasn’t sure what to think about this item at first, but I really love it now. Essentially, I use it as a setting powder over my foundation makeup. It adds the most beautiful subtle shimmer. I’ve received compliments when I wear it. It’s worth a trip to Sephora to try it out. Their brush for Ambient Lighting powders ($35.00) is excellent, too.

For Tech Geeks

  1. Air Hogs RC Rollercopter - $71.25 (Amazon) – I picked up a couple of these for my nephews back in October (when the price was half of what it is now). They’re super cool and fun! I love that they can use them indoors without the fear of the helicopter blades damaging anything.
  2. Roku Streaming Stick – $39.97 (Amazon) – I’ve had a regular Roku box for a few years and I love it. This updated version plugs into the USB on your TV and doesn’t take up any space around the TV. You can watch Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc. It’s the perfect companion gift to a Netflix subscription, too. :)
  3. Apple/iTunes Gift Card – (Apple) – Need I say more? Anyone would love an Apple/iTunes gift card. Music or gadgets. Love!
  4. Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones - $299 (Amazon) – I recently graduated from the over-the-ear Bose headphones to these smaller in-ear earphones. I prefer these for one main reason: size for traveling. They come with a small case to keep them in and they’re SO much easier to travel with! The noise cancelling is excellent, they’re comfortable (it comes with three ear piece sizes to choose from for the perfect fit), and there’s an option for a microphone and button controls in case you have a phone. I never go on a flight without them. For the traveler in your life, they need these. Expensive, but worth it.

And those are my recommendations! I hope you enjoyed the list! Let me know in the comments if you already have some of these, if you’re considering them for gift this year, or if you have other recommendations, too! :)

Holiday Card Workshop 2014 WINNERS!

Hi all! The winners of the free spots in Holiday Card Workshop are:

  • Carol Held
  • Barbara Gelde
  • Jane Luxem

I have emailed all three of you about registering for class. Congrats!

If you did not win but would still like to join us for Holiday Card Workshop 2014, you can register for class HERE.


Simon Ink Pad Giveaway WINNERS!

Hi all!

Just popping in quickly to announce the winners of the Simon Says Stamp ink pad giveaways from earlier this week. :)

Winner of the 7 new ink pads: pops morfit

  • Poll Results: 88% of you said you’ll be giving gift cards this holiday season.

Winner of all 39 ink pads (Facebook giveaway): Beverly Olsen

I have contacted both winners by email. Winners, check your inbox! :)

Thanks for participating, everyone! And a big thank you to Simon Says Stamp for providing the prizes.


All opinions are my own. If I receive a product to review, it is my policy to make note of how it was acquired. That being said, I only recommend products I genuinely use. I do not accept offers of direct payment for dedicated blog posts to promote products. NOTE: Because I design product for them, I regularly receive new product releases Simon Says Stamp.

I belong to the following affiliate programs: Simon Says Stamp and Amazon.


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