Tried and True Christmas Gift Ideas!

Hey Friends!

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving, we had a great time visiting my family in Seattle :-)

Next up - CHRISTMAS!

I've already bought a few things for the family but still have a ways to go.

I always love getting ideas from other people on what gifts they have really enjoyed so here is MY list for you guys!

All the items listed are things that we own and love. (i.e. Tried and True) ;-)

Gift Idea for ANYONE

The first gift idea is this starbucks coffee cup. (Even though I am not a huge fan of Starbucks coffee)

christmas list starbucks mug

Starbucks Stainless Steel Mug with Lid - Mint, 14 Fl Oz

Alright, does anyone else out there REALLY dislike drinking lukewarm coffee? For me, it's the worst, I won't drink it lukewarm  - it has to be hot.  It's like paying the bill after an amazing massage....all the stress that just left,  came back on - ha!  Yes, I view lukewarm coffee and bills one in the same - hee,hee.

I received this as a gift last year and let's just say, it's been used EVERY DAY SINCE.  I will never use another mug.  (I should buy myself another one just in case I lose it - HEY, I now have a Christmas idea for myself! LOL)

So, if you like coffee that stays HOT for a LONG time (around 3+ hours) this is the coffee cup to get.  The one receiving this gift will thank you forever, or you will just thank me forever if you get it for yourself - hee,hee!  (Just don't get burned with how HOT the coffee is, then you will hate me forever!)  Plus I love that it's stainless steel and has a gripping rubber bottom.  I promise, you'll love it.  (Read reviews if you don't believe me - hee,hee)

Gift idea for the person who loves GOOD coffee!

Aeropress Coffee Maker

I'm not even sure what to say about this next one - maybe that I couldn't live without it - that it gives me morning hope that my life will turn out OK?  haha! 

areopress coffee maker gift idea

Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker

Honestly, this makes the BEST cup of coffee.  Yes, a single cup of coffee :-)  So if you are making coffee for 5 people every morning I wouldn't recommend this but if it's just for you or you and your spouse I have not found anything that beats the SMOOTH, non bitter flavor.  It's very simple to use and a really great gift idea for under $30. (Who needs a 200.00 Keurig?)  Just read the reviews off Amazon......I won't have to convince you that it's a pretty awesome gadget. (And you can even TRAVEL with it - woo has accompanied me on many camping trips.)

For the person who's trying to eat healthy during their lunch break 
(or at least save themselves some money by not going out daily!)

I have only read reviews about this product but it sounds fantastic!

Lunch Crock Pot Food Warmer

I am in love with big crock pots - why wouldn't I love this small one!  It would be perfect for work and I think it would be a very thoughtful gift!

Gift Idea for the person who cleans the house - LOL

This next idea is something I decided to try out and now I wouldn't live without one. I really do not like cleaning, BUT I have to say I actually get a little excited when I see a dust bunny dog running around as I can just grab my quick and easy vacuum sweeper!  

Nearly my entire first floor is wood and it's always showing the dirt and miscellaneous debris my kids are bringing in so I absolutely love being able to pull out my electronic sweeper instead of a broom.  It just goes SO FAST and it works great.  NOW, if you needed to do a deep cleaning sweeping job, I would still pull out the broom (to get all the nooks and crannies) but let's just say, I use the "old fashion" broom once a month and the rest of the time the easy electronic sweeper is fantastic.  (Especially for picking up the dog and Selina hair! haha.....yes, I shed nearly as much as the dog - I probably should have saved that for my next Fess Up post /-:) You can run this over carpet too and it will pick up surface stuff....but a real vacuum is better over carpet.

My favorite one is the Electrolux:

stick vacuum gift idea list blogger

Best Gift for Kids (ages 4 - 12 ish)

Quadrilla Basic Set -
Quality Wooden Marble Run!

non electronic kids gift idea list quadrilla

Finally, a quality toy you could give them that they would want to save for their OWN kids.  This is a ton of fun.  It comes with a booklet of all different templates of marble run ideas.  My kids have had this for years and STILL like pulling it out.  (my kids are 8,12 and 14 now)

 Small Jumparoo Boing! I Pogo Stick 
pogo gift idea post christmas

We bought pogo sticks for the kids one Christmas.  It's a lot of fun to have jumping wars to see who could get the most jumps without falling off. (and yes, I joined in....those suckers are harder than they look!)  I would buy one for each kid since who wants to jump alone - right?

#5. EZ Steppers - Fun Feet!  (it says an "educational toy" and yes, they have girl Raspberry EZ Stepper colors too)
Christmas gift idea fun feet steppers

 I read from the reviews these are tons of fun and an instant winner with kids   Most people mentioned they would buy more than one set because it is twice as much fun with a cousin or sibling!  My daughter enjoys her set when she pulls them out, seeing the world from a 7" higher perspective brings lots of smiles :-)

Best Gift for Older Kids (ages 7 - 16 ish)

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes [BOX SET]

calvin and hobbes christmas gift idea blog post
My kids were being VERY goofy for this "staged" photo :-)  

My children ADORE this collection (it has three large hardbound books in one case) and has entertained them for HOURS.  They never tired of it and sit by the fire and just laugh and laugh.  They quote me entire comic stripes and will tell me how Calvin would have reacted had HE been in a similar family situation  This is such a classic gift to get a child. My daughter (13) just told me again, "Ya, that was an AWESOME gift!" They are all hardbound and definitely something that could be passed down. :-)

Also as a side note, superhero COMIC books (xmen,marvel characters etc) are HUGE with this age group.  I have a feeling you might become the "cool" aunt/uncle if you got your niece/nephew one of these.  

My kids FAVORITE card games!
Tons of family fun. Adults will love these games too :-)

best family card game pit

This game will have everyone on the edge of their seat!  Fast pace and vocal :-)  My 7 year old just saw me writing this and was jumping up and down saying "I want to play pit!"  Adults will enjoy this game too.  (Hey, has anyone notice I haven't put ONE electronic gadget on this kid list LOL, yes, that is on purpose! - You're welcome mom ;-)

pit card game gift

Best Stocking Stuffer for a woman

Need I say more ;-)

Try this fun sugar scrub for your lips :-)  Ha, okay, that's not really how the lip exfoliator looks!

sugar scrub christmas gift list blogger

I have LOVED using this elf lip exfoliator, it really makes your chapped lips soft.

I always enjoy getting smelly things like bubble bath and candles in my stocking too.  

Best Stocking Stuffer for a man

Alright, let's get REAL here.  Men are SO HARD to get things general, I can't seem to find anything my husband would like under $50.00.  Men don't seem to like little trinket stuff like us woman do (am I right about this?)  

So I'm at a LOSS of giving you lots of ideas on stocking stuffers for the significant other in your life BUT I know my husband loves Quest Bars.  He doesn't buy them very much because they aren't cheap, so this year I'll be adding a few of his favorite ones to his stocking.  He's also on an "eating right" kick so getting an amazing yummy COOKIES AND CREAM protein bars instead of his normal fancy licorice, mints and toffee will probably make him happy. :-)

 (If anyone is laughing at me, I'd politely ask them to stop - hee,hee)

Alright, if the bars were "odd" - how about making him these DIY comic book coasters that he can put his new "everlasting hot" coffee cup on!

comic book coasters gift list by blogger

A few other MEN gift ideas are:

Gift Cards 
(For his favorite hobby - Fishing shop? Scuba shop? Hunting shop?)

Movie Tickets 
(You kind of score on that gift too.....hopefully - haha :-)  

Event Tickets.
(The sky is the limit! There are so many fun events to go to)

A Planned Romantic Getaway 
(If you have little kids, this gift might be the best present he ever got - ha)

(What would he enjoy? Cooking? Dancing? Brewing? Instrument?)

A Massage 
(My husband would like that....oh wait, not from ME, from this amazing Russian gal I found that is not afraid to actually WORK your muscles!)

PS - Anyone notices all those listed above are CLUTTER FREE!  That was just an extra bonus for ya :-)

That's it my friends!!! I hope I have given you a FEW ideas for Christmas this year.  At least you know they are things that are USEFUL and fun.

BEST gift idea list by blogger

I'd love to hear what your favorite gifts have been. I need ideas for ME! Just leave a comment!

ENJOY the season my friends! If you are new here - feel free to see my About Me page - I'd love to have you join in on the fun for future posts - the more the merrier :-)

 Don't miss out on Selina's home decor tips and inspirations - Sign up to receive her once a week post :-) The links to Amazon are my affiliate links - if you have any questions please see my full disclosure page.  Thanks you friends!!!

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Pie Season is HERE - the Best of the Season!

Hey Friends!!

I don't know about you, but I ADORE pies.

I think it has something to do with the flaky homemade crust.  When I was little I didn't ever want birthday cake (I just don't like the texture of cake) so I would ask for a birthday pie  :-)

Since we have officially entered the holiday pie season I thought it would be fun to do a collection of the BEST pies on the internet!

I will start off with one of mine (hee,hee)

To be honest, this is one of my most "hit on" posts.  (I just made my pie sound like a cute teenager or something)

French Apple Crumble Topping Pie

french apple crumble topping pie

This is super easy, and as much as I said I LOVE homemade flaky pie crusts, sometimes I don't have the time to make the gourmet crusts so this is my "go to" pie if I want something yummy but FAST!

Rustic Thanksgiving Table Settings

Hey Friends!

You guys know how much I adore rustic settings.......I found some absolutely gorgeous inspirations for this year's Thanksgiving table.

I love the simplicity of simple using a dried leaf on top of each napkin.  It looks so festive tied with a brown velvet ribbon.  You could also use raffia or twine for a festive look too.

leaf on napkins table setting

I also love the idea of spray painting beautiful maple leaves GOLD and hand writing guest name on them!

spray paint leaf name label

How To Create an Orient Inspired Bedroom

Hi Friends, today I have a guest, Michelle Ross posting for us.  

Hope you enjoy what she has to say!


If you love Eastern culture, and you wish to wake up every morning surrounded by it – this article should be helpful for you! Below you will find four super easy ways to create your Orient inspired bedroom quickly.

asian inspired master bedroom
by Laura Potter Designs

1.) Choose natural colors

One of the easiest things you can spot in many Asian interiors is that they do tend to use more nature inspired colors. Also everything from your king sized bed to closet can be made of wood to create a natural vibe you will love for sure.

nature inspired bedroom

Cherry blossoms are widely used in an Asian theme!

aisan cherry blossom bathroom

2.) Compare it with a little splash of color

For those that don't enjoy a neutral palate as much, you can still create an Asian-themed interior by adding vibrant accent hues that stand out when placed in a calm, neutral setting. For example, pinks of cherry blossoms, ravishing reds, and rich purples are all an integral part of the Oriental style and can be a perfect finishing touch for your bedroom.

pink cherry blossom painting bedroom

3.) Marry two styles

Another thing we can all notice in Eastern decors it that sometimes there are two different styles married in the same interior.
For example, the Japanese design style is simple, minimalist, and one that is closest to nature and its many hues. While the Chinese tend to decorate their rooms in a more opulent, expansive like feel. They are grand with reds,  golds,  jades and purple tones. Finally, Indian style bedroom should have colorful, unabashed traditional Indian motifs and cultural icons. Therefore, marry some of these elements with modern pieces and you will have an amazing Orient inspired bedroom!

4.) Make it smell like nature

Finally, in Japan and China it is crucial to incorporate a little bit of nature in your household too. So my advice here would be not to forget about a few plants! A small bonsai tree on your nightstand will create a subtle but beautiful environment. A row of bamboo trees can also make a room look a lot more alive and greener. Just like people from these countries would love! So just don’t be afraid of some plants in your room. It will be a perfect finishing touch in your Orient decor, and you will surely enjoy seeing how a small tree grows. Voila! 

Thank you Michelle for your outlook on Asian Inspired Decor!

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Thanksgiving Snack and Appetizer Ideas!

Hey Friends!

We have officially hit the HOLIDAY months!

My kids are definitely ready for them.....I'm still trying to organize myself for the first week of school - ha!

I had such great feedback from the post on Halloween snack ideas that I decided to do a fun Thanksgiving snack idea post!

Sara from OurBestBites made these Oreo Reese's Candy Corn Whopper turkeys!

Have you seen anything cuter!!!????  Read on for more adorable ideas!
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