Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas and the Gift Dilemma

The thing with Christmas when you're all grown up is that you pretty much have what you need. And generally, you have what you want, too - at least, the people I know are the kind whose reaction to "want" is "go get". I can't seem to convince anyone to stop buying things they want for themselves in October so that they have a decent wish list by December!

Boy, does that make gift giving difficult.

Even the kids in the family are hard to give to. My nieces and nephew have wish lists, and two of the three (8, 5 and 3 years old) are asking for gift cards. Is that awful, or is it just me?

The last thing I want to give any of them is a gift card. Hey, let's teach them to be consumers and that plastic cards are the ticket to getting anything you want for free! Yeah. Great idea. These are the credit junkies of our future.

I was thinking of making the girls tutus (they like to dress up), but I've no idea what to get the 8-year-old boy. All he seems to do is play on one of those handheld video game consoles (for which he has all the accessories he could possibly want).

Hey! If you're a grown-up friend or family member of mine, better stop reading now!
I mean it!

I am giving mostly practical gifts this year. Things that I know people have worn-out versions of that need replacing. Things that will save my loved ones time doing un-fun chores. Sounds boring, I guess. Maybe it won't be the kind of delight that bursts out of the wrapping, but I hope that each time they use the gift they will find it makes their life easier or better in some way.

The other gift I am giving is treats from the kitchen - I really enjoy baking, and I know most people enjoy homemade goodies, but not everyone has the time (or inclination) to make them. So I'm going to whip up some batches and put them in holiday tins. These are such great neighbour gifts, and lovely to bring as hostess gifts. Some years I do preserves (apple cider or wine jelly is super easy to make, and always impressive), but not this year.

And the last thing I am going to say is that going shopping on a Saturday two weeks before Christmas, especially when you're 32 weeks pregnant, is absolute madness. Common sense, right? So where was my common sense this morning?! My feet are killing me and I can now say I have used every public washroom in the mall, as well as one at a grocery store (even though the lock was broken) on the way home. Desperate times...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A little help?

Thank you to those of you who helped me by liking my video! I ended up winning - amazing!

Hi-Tec USA has 8 more days of giveaways on their Facebook page, open to Canada and the US - worth a "like" of their page for sure! They make really nice outdoorsy/sporty hiking boots and outerwear for the whole family.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shady Lady Review

When I was contacted to do a review for Shady Lady (aka, I was thrilled! They have replicas of designer sunglasses for amazingly low prices.

I have bought expensive sunglasses and cheap ones, and quickly discovered that they are equally easy to lose - and just as easy to scratch up if you're clumsy like me. So why spend massive amounts of money when you can get the same look for way less? You can be happily on trend without breaking the bank. I tried out the replica Christian Dior sunglasses (above) which are priced at $14.99 (USD)! My husband's comment was, "They're big!" Captain Obvious is awesome at compliments, no? What do you think? I don't think they're too huge, myself.

Sorry about the mums-at-the-end-of-blooming in the background. They were pretty once!

I like them. They're very comfortable and lightweight, and they do block out a lot of the brightness (especially since the snow has hit Ontario!). No more squinting for me!

They have replicas of many of the big designer brands, like Ed Hardy, Baby Phat, Coach, Gucci, Juicy Couture, Ray Ban and Nike, just to name a few.

I quite like these Ed Hardy replicas with the koi on them (though honestly I don't think I could pull them off). The classic Ray Ban aviator replicas are pretty sweet, too. There's lots of variety!

I also found that the packaging the sunglasses were sent in was great. They came in a strong mailing tube, wrapped in bubble wrap inside - quite safe from crushing or breaking. It would also be easy to wrap for Christmas!

Originally they had planned to offer a giveaway for my readers, but I've been having a lot of trouble getting hold of my contact there to arrange it. I will follow up for a fourth time and see what I can do in that direction.

In the meantime, they did provide a coupon code for you that gives you 25% off their already low prices (so you could score a pair for $11.25!) - um, stocking stuffers, anyone? Just use the code AGXUV8JB at checkout when you order.

Disclosure: provided me with a pair of sunglasses to review, but I was not paid or otherwise compensated for this review.

Winner - Tropical Traditions Organic Oats!

We have a winner for the 5lb bag of Organic Whole Grain Thick Rolled Oats! These will be great for that holiday baking or just for everyday use! Visit Tropical Traditions for these and more great natural products. picked:which is...Congratulations!

In other news, I made these recently for the baby with some scrap fabric, ribbon, and flowers from an old lei that I had hanging around. (I knew it would come in handy for something!) :)Taggy blocks! Super easy (I just made them up)... 6 squares of fabric for each, each block is 1/2" smaller than the last. Bits of ribbon in the seams, flowers sewn on before sewing the squares together, stuffed with polyfil. One thing to watch with ribbon - make sure that tags are wider than long, so little fingers don't get tangled.