Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers for Foodies

This post may contain affiliate links

While we were growing up, what we found in our stockings on Christmas morning was always a treat. There would be a couple of practical items and a whole lot of chocolate. When I got married I was surprised to find toothbrushes, toothpaste and an Old Farmer's Almanac in my stocking. My husband is pretty good at stuffing a stocking, but subscribes to some practical items and some fun. Whatever your family chooses to put in stockings, stuffing stockings year after year can be a challenge even for Santa. Here are 5 stocking stuffer ideas for the foodie in your life:

Kitchen Utensils - This is high on my list this year for both gifts and stocking stuffers. The foodie in your life can always use a new melon baller, whisk, or pair of small tongs. This fall I replaced my worn out whisk and got an OXO Balloon Whisk - this is a fantastic whisk that any foodie would love to get!

Coffee Gift Cards - A simple stocking stuffer is a gift card for your favorite coffee shop in low denominations. Yes, that caramel mocha latte may cost you $5.00, but anyone would love a $10 gift card for a couple of coffees, and you are not breaking your shopping budget. I love receiving Starbucks gift cards, they enable me to get my favorite winter beverage - Peppermint Hot Chocolate. If you have teens or college aged kids, get a 4-pack of $10 gift cards for easy stuffing!

Real Simple Menu Planner - A big gift for a small stocking, at stocking stuffer prices. A few weeks ago I wrote a review of the Real Simple menu planner. Since then, I have made a few of the dishes, and I love it! The dishes are simple, but that's what I love - no fuss, no muss meals for a busy Mom with a toddler and a newborn. At $10 for a year, the price makes this the best stocking stuffer that keeps giving 52 weeks of the year.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Foodie (2014 Edition)

This post may contain affiliate links.

Last week I started my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide with gift ideas for kids. Today, we are focusing on gifts for the foodies in your life. If you have a foodie on your shopping list, here are some gift giving ideas:

Philosophy's Eggnog 3-in-1 Shower Gel, Shampoo & Bubble Bath - Yes, I'm starting my list off with a beauty product. That being said, I LOVE the Philosophy brand of products. I started out using the eggnog shower gel when I was pregnant with my son (and couldn't drink the real thing). I then branched out to the other products when I saw how well they worked on my sensitive skin. This Eggnog shower gel is my favorite and it smells exactly like eggnog, and is just as decadent, but without the calories! YES, 0 calories! If you have someone who is hard to shop for on your list, this is the perfect gift!

Crock Pot Slow Cooker - Since having children, I have fallen in love with my slow cooker. I love being able to prep a meal in the morning (when we're all well rested, and it's fairly quiet), and having a healthy, home cooked meal ready by dinner time. Crock-Pots come in various sizes and in a variety of prices. I own 2 different sizes, but my favorite is the 4 1/2 quart. It's the perfect size to make a meal for a family of 4. Crock-Pot also has a programmable cooker that I don't own, but I have my eye on...

Wilton Donut Pan - Some of my more popular posts this year have been my donut recipes. I have had a great time making them, and they are so easy and fun to make in your oven. A donut pan is the key to oven baked donuts - no frying required! Any home cook can now make donuts with just a simple recipe - here are my favorites for the holidays: Baked Donuts and Mimosa Baked Donuts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Kids

This post may include affiliate links.

Last year I put together a list of gifts for foodies. This year I'm doing a whole gift guide of gifts for kids, gifts for foodies, and I'm also including a list of stocking stuffer ideas, so stay tuned! Today I am highlighting gifts for kids.

Sometime shopping for kids can be easy due to miles long wishlists, and sometimes it's hard to find a nice, inexpensive gift. Since I was pregnant and due in the Fall, I was concerned I wasn't going to have the time or energy to Christmas shop with a newborn in the house, so I decided to start my shopping early. In the course of my shopping I found these gems of gifts for kids.

Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell - As many of my readers know, I love books and I believe books make the best gifts for kids. When I saw this book, I fell in love. I love the idea of an inspiring book about the young Jane Goodall, whose beginnings are just as humble as the rest of ours. It shows kids that anyone can be great. This book quickly moved to the top of my gift list, particularly for the young girls in my life (though it is not just for girls - it is on my son's wishlist as well). Add in a little monkey, like Dangles the Monkey by Ty, and you have a fantastic gift.

Fashion Plates - Do you remember those great fashion plate toys from 25 years ago? I spent hours with the plates and paper, rubbing crayons over the plates to make fashion designs and then coloring them in. During my shopping, I was thrilled to see that the retro toy made a comeback in this Fashion Design Activity Kit by Melissa & Doug. I love Melissa & Doug toys, they make quality, educational toys that are also fun! I love the regular fashion design kit, but there is also a princess version from Melissa & Doug. For the younger kids, there are also Disney princess & Barbie choices available.

Melissa & Doug Cutting Food Set - This wouldn't be a list on my blog without a food gift for kids. I have a hard time finding good quality toy food sets for my son. He is still in a pretty destructive phase, so the sets that consist of cardboard boxes are pretty much out. They are likely to be ripped or stepped on. My son absolutely loves this food cutting set. Each food piece has velcro holding each "slice" together. It also comes with a cutting board and kid-safe wooden knife. My son loves to cut the fruits and veggies and it helps his motor skills while he is playing! (Organization Tip: Also get a cloth, zippered lingerie bag to hold all of the pieces, when the kids aren't playing.) For the foodie, also check out this fun sushi slicing set!

Monday, November 24, 2014

What's Cooking? Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ Chicken (Guest Post)

We all love our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but what do we do with the left-over turkey when we have already had one turkey sandwich too many? Jade from Jonesin' For Taste is here today to share a great Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ Chicken recipe. Not only is this recipe great (and easy) for a cold winter's night, the Cranberry BBQ Sauce is perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers!

Hi! I'm Jade and I blog at Jonesin' For Taste! I'm on a mission to make fantastic food on a really tight food budget. Originally this dish was going to be done in the oven but the day before I made it my oven broke. So we had to move on to plan B. This dish is fantastic with turkey as well so if you see it on sale and wanted to do that go for it. I happened to use boneless skinless chicken breasts because that was what I had on hand but honestly I think it would be even better with a whole chicken - and cheaper too! The real winner to this dish is the cranberry BBQ sauce. It's a little different, oh so festive, and a fantastic deal this time of year because cranberry everything goes on sale! So stock up and get ready to make this! 

Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ Chicken

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cash for Christmas Giveaway!

I am excited to be a part of this fun Cash for Christmas Giveaway! A group of us have gotten together to help you out with your Christmas shopping.

MLA - Tammy Creative K Kids - Tammy
Tammy from My Life Abundant and Tammy from Creative K Kids have gotten together with a few of our bloggie friends to have a giveaway!

Cash for Christmas Giveaway $250

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Product Review: Real Simple Magazine Meal Planner

This post is NOT a sponsored post. I have not received any kind of compensation for writing this post and all thoughts are 100% mine.
This year I became a subscriber to Real Simple magazine. I have always eyed this magazine in the grocery store, but I never really got a copy due to newsstand prices. I loved that Real Simple always had organizational tips, which I desperately need, so when a magazine fundraiser came around, I subscribed. It was also nice, that my Barnes & Noble Nook allowed print subscribers to get the electronic copy for free with a current subscription. Double win!

Last month the magazine advertised a new service - weekly Meal Plans. Each week for either 6 months or 1 year, your choice, you get a meal plan of 5 meals for the week emailed to you. It is $6 for 6 months or $10 for 1 year. I thought the service looked interesting so decided to try it. I bought the 1 year plan, since it was just $10. With a new baby coming, I can use all the meal planning I can get.

I have now been a meal plan recipient for 2 weeks, and I like what I see. The plans come in PDF form, and are about 6-8 pages in length. The first 2 pages are a full shopping list for everything you need for that week. The following pages contain a recipe and full-color picture of each meal.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Let's Get Real Link Party #62

I am so excited to be this week's co-host for the Let's Get Real Link Party. As a co-host I was tasked to pick a feature from the link-ups at last week's party. What a hard choice! I don't know how these ladies do it week after week. Check out below to see who I picked for my feature. Don't forget to check out the other hosts to see their features and of course, to add your link. Now on to the party!

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

**This week you can enter to win next week's special co-host spot. If you are interested in co-hosting next week, please enter the rafflecopter give-away. We would love to have you join us for the week. 

 Let's Get Real Friday Linky Party