Affordable Toys for Toddlers

Affordable Toys for Toddlers (ages 2-5)

During the next four months, we’ll be celebrating Christmas and both of my kids’ birthdays.  This means that we have to budget well for gifts and be selective in what we choose to bring into our home.  In addition, we want good quality toys that aren’t going to break the bank.  I’ve always prided myself on being a bargain shopper and Christmas and birthday gifts are no exception.  Just last week I saved $15 on a present for my son by shopping around, which turned something over-budget into something affordable.  I always give myself a good pat on the back when that happens. *wink*

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I’d much rather spend a couple of extra dollars on something that is better made and longer lasting.  Kids are hard on toys so this is important to me as a parent.  Today, I want to share with you my picks for affordable toddler toys from The Baby Cubby.  One of the things I love most about their toys is that they are unique and durable as well as affordable.  Most of their toys are for boys or girls (with the exception of a few).  The toys I’m showing below are for 2-5 year old range.  (Click on the link below the picture to see more information.)

*This post is sponsored by The Baby Cubby.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Affordable Toys for Toddlers (ages 2-5)
Affordable Toys for Toddlers (ages 2-5)

Affordable Toys for Toddlers (ages 2-5)

Affordable Toys for Toddlers (ages 2-5)

Affordable Toys for Toddlers (ages 2-5)
Zoobrella Umbrella (3 styles)  |  Hedgehog Backpack (4 styles)

Affordable Toys for Toddlers (ages 2-5)
Baby Primers (30 classics)

What makes The Baby Cubby different?
So if you’re anything like me, you’ve been on tons of websites for baby/toddler/kid stuff searching for great products at a great price.  We all like to get the best bang for our buck!  But it’s also nice to know that where you’re shopping values more than just your money.  At The Baby Cubby, their team is made up of parents just like you who want the best products for their kids.  They want to support you through parenthood with helpful resources and encouragement.  (And don’t we all need a little bit of that? *wink*)  You can read a little more about them HERE.

Besides great products, they also offer price matching (even on Amazon prices) and free shipping on orders over $49 (which isn’t hard to do, believe me!).  If you are local, they are located about 10-15 minutes south of Provo and about 25 minutes north of Salt Lake in Lindon.  You can find directions HERE.

My Experience with The Baby Cubby
I recently placed an order with them for some Christmas gifts for my kids (the makeup set, a book, bath pipes and bath cogs).  Ordering was easy and I could see shipping costs, a breakdown of each item, tax, etc prior to placing my order.  Earlier this week, I got a call from their customer service about one of the items being out of stock and they wanted to know what I wanted done with the order.  I called them back and briefly explained the reason I was calling.  The girl I spoke to happened to be the same one who had called me and she knew exactly what I was talking about and handled my call quickly and efficiently (which is huge because no one wants to be on the phone with customer service forever when they have kids).  I cannot wait to get these items and give them for Christmas this year.  I have no doubt I’ll be a repeat customer.

I hope this post gave you some ideas of what to give the toddler in your life!  Happy shopping!

Gift Guide: Women

Fun, out of the box gift guide for women!

Last year around this time, I did a couple of pretty extensive gift guides: one for parents/grandparents and one for men.  But I didn’t quite have time to put together one for women.  As a woman, you might think that I would have a pretty good idea of what women want when it comes to gifts, but to be completely honest, I usually have a really hard time telling my husband (or anyone else) what I want for Christmas or my birthday.  Am I the only one with this problem?

So, I turned to my friends and asked them what they wanted and I have to say that I agree with most of these!  My hope with this list is that you’ll be able to give a gift that’s a little outside the box.  Whether you are buying for you mother, mother-in-law, sister, daughter, friend or spouse, there are some great choices here.  I’ve divided it up into categories the following categories: beauty, little luxuries, services, experiences and creative.

This post contains affiliate links which if you click on a make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Beauty
Manicure/Pedicure: This is an awesome option for almost all ages.  You could turn this into a group thing with friends or family members or even a mother-daughter(s) date.  There are a lot of deals on Groupon and other deal sites.

Bath Bombs: I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually tried a bath bomb before but I hear they are amazing!  If the woman you are giving a gift to loves relaxing in the bath, then this is a good option.

Spa Voucher: Women love to be pampered and spas are a great place to be pampered.  You could even take this gift a step further and schedule it out for them so they don’t have to remember to set the appointment themselves.  Check out Groupon for local deals.

All Inclusive Photo Shoot: Women also love to feel pretty.  Consider an all inclusive photo shoot where they get their make up and hair done and then have some nice pictures taken of them.

A Relaxing Night In: This gift will look different to different women, so think about how your giftee likes to relax at home.  This could mean a nice bubble bath (with a bath bomb!) and reading a book.  It might be a girly movie.  For me, I love having a stretch of time where I can work on crafts uninterrupted for a few hours while my husband watches the kids.

Jewelry: This is a great gift because it’s so flexible depending on who you’re giving it to and their personal taste.  For grandmothers, it might be a necklace, bracelet or keychain with their grandkids names on it.  Same thing for mothers and the names of their children.  You could look into designing a custom piece and getting it specially made.

Little Luxuries
A Nap: When my friend suggested this one, I laughed out loud because it’s so true!  Getting time to take a nap is one of the best gifts you can give a mother.  As a husband, maybe you can commit to watching the kids each Sunday so your wife can take a nap.  If you are an older child, you could entertain your younger siblings for an hour while your mom takes an uninterrupted nap.  It might sound a little silly at first, but sleep is a wonderful gift.

Pretty Office Supplies: There is something about having pretty office supplies that just make work a little more enjoyable.  Sometimes women worry so much about being practical that they don’t want to spend the extra dollar or two for something basic like a notebook or pen.  Instead of plain manila folders, get ones with a pattern or uplifting words.

Candles: Mmmm…have you ever walked into a room and smelled something that just made you smile?  Candles are another one of those “little luxuries” that are nice to have around.

Fun Planner: For years, I’ve used a basic planner to keep track of my daily tasks, appointments and activities.  It might have a cute cover but the inside is simple and not much to look at.  When I attended Pinners Conference at the beginning of this month, I attended a class on The Happy Planner.  It is basically a planner that you can use for planning (obviously) but also to commemorate things, almost like a scrapbook.  I love to craft, but don’t always have the time do it.  This planner is both pretty and practical, which I love.

Services
Maid Service: Friends, this is seriously one of the best gift ideas ever.  As a stay-at-home mom, I spend a lot of time cleaning and straightening and it feels like I’m never done.  Plus, there are those tasks that I just don’t like to do so I avoid them until they absolutely have to be done.  This is where the gift of maid service comes in, because you can just pay someone to do those things for you, while you do something else you’d much rather do.

Babysitting: Almost every year for my birthday, my mom gives me a restaurant gift card and a promise of babysitting.  If you know someone who needs a little break from their beautiful children to go on a date, run errands by themselves or go to an event or conference, then this is a perfect gift.

Experiences
Gift Certificate to Try Something New: I love learning new skills but I don’t necessarily want to try and learn them by myself.  Going to a class is a great way to get exposure to something new without having to buy all the supplies or try to find the answers on the internet.  There are a ton of classes in almost every area you can think of.  Is there something your mother, wife, friend or sister has said they want to try out?  See if you can find a class for it.  Some of the classes I thought would be fun are an art class, zumba, glass blowing, ring making, kick boxing and cooking class.  Again, Groupon is a great place to find these types of classes.

A Day/Night Out: This could be a date night where you do something a little more extravagant or a girls weekend in the city.  Experiences and making memories are wonderful and lasting gifts.

Tickets to a Concert or Conference: When I went to Pinners Conference earlier this month, I was cashing in my birthday gift that I’d asked my husband for a couple of months ago.  Gifts don’t have to provide instant gratification and some of the best gifts are those where you have to build up the anticipation.

Creative
Silhouette machine, Designer Edition or any one of the kits: I’ve mentioned this many times before, but I LOVE my Silhouette Cameo machine.  I use it all the time and it’s been a great investment for me.  This is a little pricier of a gift so it would be a good group gift to give.  If the woman you’re gifting already has one, you can buy a gift card to upgrade to the Designer Edition or Designer Edition PLUS, a gift card to the Silhouette online store or even one of the many kits they have (heat transfer vinyl, vinyl, rhinestone, fabric ink, glass etching).

Journal: Having a journal to write down thoughts or feelings or lists is something I always have nearby.  You can make your own (check out my tutorial for mod podge notebooks) or buy one with a fun print or cute quote on it.  Pair it with some fun pens.

Adult Coloring Book and Markers or Pencils: I have a couple of these myself and they are so fun to be able to pull out when I just need a break or when my kids want me to color with them.  There are so many awesome ones to choose from: Harry Potter, Disney, Mandalas and the list goes on.  A nicer set of markers or colored pencils would go great with this gift.

Handlettering Workbook: Another class I attended at Pinners Conference was an introduction to handlettering.  It came with an awesome workbook that I could take home and practice my writing.  I’ve always admired pretty handwriting and so this is a really fun one.  I bought this workbook HERE and this is the marker I use HERE.

I hope you got some inspiration from this gift guide for the women in your life.  What are you favorite gifts to give and receive?

Mod Podge Notebook

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

If you are anything like me, you like notebooks.  Big, small, patterned, solid.  I’ve got them scattered around my house and at least three in my diaper bag.  You never know when you’re going to need to make a note or a list.  I’m also one of those people who really likes to write things down and I still have a daily planner.  (My husband buys me a new one every year at Christmas.)

And while deep down I know the purpose of a notebook is just to write things down, another part of me just loves pretty notebooks.  However, I don’t like spending an extra couple dollars just to have a pretty print or a cute quote on the front.  Do you feel the same?

So to make my notebooks cuter, I take advantage of my scrapbook paper fetish and use up some of it on an inexpensive notebook.  I’m sure you’ve seen the composition notebooks at the store.  I found mine at the local dollar store (Dollar Tree).  The front isn’t all that cute and they have these formulas and all sorts of random information on the inside covers that I don’t find useful or pretty.  So I just cover them up and personalize them.   

To make your own notebook, you will need the following:

  • composition notebook
  • mod podge
  • foam brush
  • scissors or paper trimmer
  • 12×12 scrapbook paper
  • vinyl (optional)
  • embellishments (optional)

The first step is to find the scrapbook paper you want to use.  If you’re doing this with a big group, I’d recommend either having everyone bring their own paper or to buy a big pad of 12×12 paper that has coordinating patterns and colors to take some of the guesswork out of it.  (I generally stick to 2-3 pieces of patterned paper.)  Decide which paper you want to use for your main pattern and which will be your accent for the binding.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Cut the main paper in half so you have (2) 6×12 pieces.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Lay the paper on the front of the notebook so there is about 1/2″ overhang on the far right side.  Crease the top and sides so you can see about where to place the paper once you get the mod podge on the notebook.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Using a foam brush, spread the mod podge out on the front of the notebook only covering the area that the 6×12 will cover.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Place the 6×12 paper on top of the notebook.  Be sure to smooth out the bubbles, working from the middle outward.  I have a little plastic tool I use, but you could also use a credit card/gift card to smooth it out.

From here you can do one of two things: 1) cut off the extra paper around the edges, or 2) fold the extra paper around the sides and mod podge it to the inside of the notebook.  I prefer the second option because I think it gives a cleaner look.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Once the front is finished, repeat on the back cover of the notebook.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

For the binding, you will need to take the second paper you chose and fold it around the binding, making sure to overlap the main paper by about 1/4-1/2″.  Crease or mark the paper, then trim it to size.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Brush the mod podge on the back of the notebook binding and the front of the notebook.  Then place the binding of the notebook on the paper first, then roll it onto the front.  This will help you center it.  Then mod podge the back of the notebook and fold the paper onto the back.  Again, make sure to press out the bubbles.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

Trim the overhanging paper on the top and bottom of the binding using scissors.  It’s easier to trim it if you open up the notebook.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

If the inside of your notebook has random formulas and grammar rules like mine did, you can cover those up by mod podging some plain white (or coordinating) cardstock onto the inside.  Easy peasy.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

From here, you can be done if you like how it looks, or you can add more embellishments.

I thought it looked a little plain so I just cut out a couple of words from vinyl using my Silhouette and I think it added just the right touch.

Mod Podge Notebook--A quick, easy and cute way to update a boring composition notebook!

These would make great gifts for family or friends to use as journal or to-do list notebooks.  Another cute idea is to use it as a notebook to pass back and forth between you and your child, writing letters or notes to each other.  You could make these for a craft night with your friends or local church group or even a girls camp craft.  Super easy and super inexpensive.

What would you use your notebook for?

14 Meaningful Gifts for Mother’s Day

Let’s face it: Mother’s Day gifts can be so hard to come up with!  You want to give something meaningful.  You want to be thoughtful.  You want them to like it.  (And not just because it’s from you, but because you want them to really like what you give them.)  I feel like some years, the right gift is obvious.  You see it, or you think of it and it’s a no-brainer.  But most years, at least for me, it isn’t like that.  Heck, I can’t even tell my husband what I want for Christmas or my birthday most of the time!  So I’ve taken some time to think about some Mother’s Day gift ideas that your mom (or maybe you) would like to receive.  Or possibly one of the items you see will help you think of something else that she’d like.

Scrapbook (Traditional or Digital):  Making a scrapbook today is so much easier and faster than it used to be.  With websites and apps, like Chatbook or Shutterfly, all you really need to do is upload your photos, drop them into a template (or design it from scratch) and send it in to be published.  And if you decide to go the traditional route using printed pictures, there are pre-made scrapbooks that you can buy if making one from scratch seems daunting or too time consuming.  (I’ve seen them at JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby.)

Personalized Mug/Clothing/Kitchen Towel:  Going along with the personalization theme, you can also purchase almost anything with kids and/or grandkids names or images on them.  I’ve seen mugs, shirts, kitchen towels, keychains and various other items.  If you have a certain item you want personalized, check out Etsy and see what is available.  I’d be surprised if you didn’t find something.

Gift Certificate for Massage or Mani/Pedi:  If your mom is the kind that likes massages, manicures and/or pedicures, why not look into purchasing a gift certificate for her at her favorite spa?  There are always good deals on Groupon, Living Social and Amazon Local for any of these items.  The gift of a relaxing day (or at least a few hours) is something I think most women will appreciate.

Image from O Jolie Designs

Personalized/Custom Jewelry:  One year, my sister, step-sister and I pitched in and got my step-mom a necklace with all of the grandkids’ names and birthstone on it.  It was a personal gift and a beautiful way for her to keep her grandkids close.  Plus, we can always add to it as more kids come along.  We purchased ours from one of my favorite Etsy shops for hand stamped jewelry and keepsakes called O Jolie Designs.

Service: Perform an act of service, such as weeding the garden or cleaning out the garage.  You could do it as a surprise or together and use it as an opportunity to talk and bond.

Plan an Activity and Create a Memory:  Last year for Mother’s Day, we took my mom out to the aquarium and spent a few hours with her.  It was special because we were able to create a memory from it and take pictures to remember it.  Maybe your mom likes going on hikes or to the ballet.  Think of an activity you could do together, whether it’s just the two of you, all the siblings, just girls or extended family, and go make some memories.

Accessories for Hobby:  If your mom has a hobby, there is probably something you could buy to go along with it.  Golfing?  New gloves or clubs.  Biking?  A comfy seat or biking shoes.  Cooking?  That new pan or gadget she’s been looking at.  There are so many options that there’s no way I could even begin to list them all, but if your mom has a hobby, there’s probably something she could use to supplement it.

Flowers/Potted Plant:  I know many ladies who like to receive flowers or potted plants as gifts.  You could include a bouquet of her favorite flowers with another gift or have some flowers or a potted plant as the gift itself.

Chocolates or a Favorite Treat:  I know it’s cliche, but there’s a reason it is: lots of women like chocolate.  And I’m not talking a Hershey’s bar.  I’m talking about the really good stuff that you buy from a chocolate store that melts in your mouth.  If chocolates aren’t her thing, buy her favorite treat.  Maybe it’s something that’s hard to find or has special meaning.

Home/Office Decor:  There have been years here and there that I’ve bought or made decor for my mom or step-mom to display.  I know their styles so it hasn’t been difficult to find something I think they’d like.

Book, Journal or Notebook:  For as long as I can remember, my mom has always had a stack of books next to her bed.  She loves reading and has some favorite authors and genres, so finding a book she would like is generally not too difficult.  Along those lines, you could also purchase a journal or notebook for her to keep handy and write her thoughts down.

Poem or Letter:  You could find a poem that describes your mom or how you feel about her, or you could write one yourself.  I’ve done both and each have been received with tears and hugs.  I’ve also written a thank you letter expressing my love and gratitude for them.  If you’re looking for a way to get your mom crying, or at the least a little misty-eyed, go for this option. *wink*

Something made by the Grandkids:  I’ve seen some cute ideas on Pinterest where you have your child draw or paint a picture and you take a picture of them making it.  Then you include both the picture they made and the picture of them in a frame (check out this one).  There are also lots of other ideas involving hand prints/foot prints of each grandchild (like this one here).

Printable Fill-in-the-Blank about Mom/Grandma:  Another fun Pinterest find and so easy and cute.  Grab one of the many free fill-in-the-blank printables for moms/grandmas (like this one) and have your kids finish the sentence.  Then you could put them together in a notebook or with the gift that you give to her.  I love these kind of gifts because there are always a few tears and some laughter involved as they are read.

I hope this list gave you an idea or two or at least got your wheels turning!

What are some of your favorite items to give or receive?

DIY Sharpie Mug

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

When the first DIY Sharpie mugs started popping up on the internet, I couldn’t believe that I could make whatever design I wanted to on a mug with just Sharpies!  Oh the ideas!  Oh the gifts!  Oh the…disappointment when I realized it wasn’t quite that simple.  But not to worry, it’s still simple enough if you follow my instructions.  I’ve done the research for you so you don’t have to!

Here are a few important tips I discovered:

  • You cannot use regular old Sharpies and expect it to stay on the mug.  If you want the design to be permanent, you have to use oil-based Sharpies, which are $3-$4 each.  
  • The type of mug (ceramic, porcelain, stoneware, etc) you use doesn’t matter and neither does the color.  You can use white, black or any other color you want. 
  • You need to bake the mugs in the oven and let them cool down.  
  • I highly recommend hand washing the mugs rather than sticking them in the dishwasher.

If you keep these things in mind when gathering your materials and designing your cool new mug, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration.

Now for the tutorial…

Supplies needed:

  • mug(s)
  • oil-based Sharpies, in any color
  • rubbing alcohol
  • Q-tips and cotton balls
  • pencil and paper (optional)
  • masking tape (optional)

First, you’ll need to find your mug(s).  I went to Walmart and got mine for less than $2.  (There might be some cool ones at your local thrift store too, but I didn’t have time to look at ours.)  Bring them home, wash and let them dry.  (You do not want them to be wet at all, otherwise the paint won’t stick to the mug, since it is oil-based and water and oil don’t play well together.)  If you want to make sure they are extra clean, use some rubbing alcohol.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

Then, you will need to lightly sketch out your design/words.  I pulled out a piece of paper to practice on first so I could get my design and the spacing the way I wanted.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

After it is how you want, you transfer the design to the mug.  I recommend using a pencil since it’s easy to write over with the Sharpie and will rub off with your finger or a Q-tip.  You can also use the masking tape to help you write straight lines, create geometric shapes, etc.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

If you make a mistake, just grab your rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip or cotton ball (depending on the size of the mistake) and wipe it off.  Good as new!  I included an example so you could see that it really does work.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)! 

Once your mug is decorated to your liking, clean off any smudges with the rubbing alcohol and set it somewhere safe and dry for 72 hours.  That’s right.  Wait 3 days before baking your mug.  This allows the paint to set.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

After the 72 hours have passed, put the mug in the cold oven at 425 degrees for one hour.  (I put my mug on a small pan so I didn’t have to worry about it falling over.)  At the end of one hour turn off the oven, leave the mug in the oven to cool completely.

The reason this step is important is because when you allow the mug to heat up gradually with the oven, you will avoid cracking.  A good time to do this would be in the evening so that you can just let the mug cool overnight and not worry if you’re pulling it out too soon.

After baking my mug, I noticed that the red color came out a little darker than before.  This worked out great for me since it matched the inside of the mug.  I would expect that most, if not all, colors will come out a little darker after the mug has been baked so take that into account when you are choosing your color.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

I love how my mug came out!  Actually, it’s not my mug anymore.  I sent it off as a birthday gift to a dear friend who lives far away in North Carolina.  So now it has a new home and I have an excuse to make another fun mug!

These mugs are really the way to go if you’re looking for a simple, cute, inexpensive gift.  You could give these as wedding gifts, bridesmaid gifts, house warming gifts, birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, Christmas gifts…the list goes on and on!

*Note: These mugs need to be hand-washed.  Do not put them in the dishwasher, or you risk damaging your design.

Have you made Sharpie mugs before?  Do you have any other tips that I didn’t include?

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

Today I opened my front door and found a jar of jelly sitting there with a cute note attached: “He had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed, like a ‘jar’ full of jelly”.  Aaaannnddd…cue the fun, creative and yummy treats that start popping up on doorsteps during this Christmas season!

Every year, I like to think of fun treats to give out to friends, neighbors and my husband’s coworkers.  There are so many cute ways to package and label gifts that it seems a shame to repeat any one gift twice!  (Although, I’d probably be the only one who would know…)  Since it would be impossible to make all of the treats I would want to and show you how to present them, I’ve put together a friend and neighbor gift round up for you to pick and choose what you’d like to give.  I’ve just made your holidays easier.  You’re welcome.  *wink*  (Please follow the links for more information and pictures.)

“We could all use a little extra ‘dough’ this Holiday Season.”–cookie dough (free printable from The Things I Love Most)
25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“Everyone could use a little extra ‘dough’ this time of year!”–cookie dough (free printable from Happiness is Homemade)
25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“Homemade cookies would be so fine, but these are so much better than mine!”–box of store bought cookies or dough (from Things That I Create)

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

Good Roll and Cut Cookies–the perfect cookies for decorating (from yours truly)

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“We wish you a Merry Christmas and a “Bubbly” New Year!” (free printable from Money Hip Mamas
25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“Wishing you a Merry KISSmas and a “sparkling” New Year!”–include chocolate kisses (free printable from Tastefully Frugal

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“Cheers to some great neighbors!” (from Blue Skies Ahead

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

Peppermint Popcorn (recipe and free printable tags from Design Dazzle

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“Just POPPING by to wish you a Merry Christmas” (free printable from The Things I Love Most)

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a Movie Night!”–include a Redbox code (free printable from Over the Big Moon)
25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!
“We’re POPPING by with a holiday ‘Hi!'” (from Things That I Create)

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

Jello Popcorn (recipe from Our Best Bites)–I love this stuff!

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“A bit of ‘disposable’ Christmas cheer!  What could be better?  No dishes my dear!” (from Things That I Create)  

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“Our Christmas wish to you…less dishes to do!” (from Things That I Create
25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!
“May your days be Merry & Sprite and all your Christmases be white” (free printable from It’s Always Autumn)
25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!
“We’d SODA like to wish you a Merry Christmas!” (free printable from Simply Kierste for Baby Center

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“‘Soda-lighted’ you’re our neighbors!  Merry Christmas!” (from Things That I Create)
25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!
“‘Twizz’ the season to be jolly!”–Twizzlers (from The Dating Divas

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“There ain’t “muffin” like good friends!”–muffin mix (from Pebbles in my Pocket)
25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!
“Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  Merry Christmas from the Ding-Dongs next door!”–HoHos and Ding Dongs (from One of A Kind

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

“We think you GEYSER awesome and we hope you have a BLAST this Christmas!”–Mentos and Diet Coke (from FLIPZLES

 

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

Snowman Soup–hot chocolate, candy canes, chocolate kisses, mini marshmallows (free printable from Ginger Snap Crafts

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

Caramel and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels (recipe from Spend With Pennies

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

Christmas Crack aka Saltine Cracker Toffee (recipe from I Heart Nap Time)  

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

Reindeer Dust–A fun and easy gift for families with children! (click here for a free printable from me!)

25 Easy Neighbor Gifts--also great for friends, family and co-workers.  Lots of fun ideas!

What are some of your favorite neighbor gifts to give?

Gift Guide: Men

Gift Guide: Men--HUGE list of ideas for gifts to give the men in your life

If you ask my husband, he thinks that guys are really easy to buy for.  I tend to disagree.  When it comes to trying to figure out what to get him for a gift (whether it’s Christmas, birthday, Father’s Day, anniversary), it usually takes a lot of thinking on my part to come up with a gift I think he’d really like.  Thinking back on the types of gifts I give him, I realized they generally fall into three categories: practical, interest-based and sentimental.

I think if you can decide what type of gift you’d like to give, it’s (a little) easier to think of a gift they’d like to receive, or vise versa.  I’ve compiled a list of ideas within each category to help give you a head start on your gift giving for whatever holiday or occasion you’re celebrating.

Note: Keep in mind, some of these suggestions are geared more towards husbands, while others could be given to fathers, fathers-in-law, sons, brothers, etc.

Gift Guide: Men--HUGE list of ideas for gifts to give the men in your life

    Practical: These gifts are given to help solve a problem or make life easier.

    From my experience, guys really like to solve problems and simplify.  So a practical gift is great when you know of an area of their life that needs one of these things.

    • Hygiene Items: 
    • Tools: 
      • Power Tools: drill, circular saw, miter saw
      • Ladder
      • Power washer
      • Air compressor
      • Socket set
    • Clothing: 
      • According to my husband, most guys will like to receive clothes (even if they say they don’t).
    • Vehicles: 
      • Car wash punch card
      • Emergency Roadside Kit: jumper cables, flares
      • Car waxing kit

    Gift Guide: Men--HUGE list of ideas for gifts to give the men in your life

    Interest-based:  These gifts are given to support a hobby or activity the person enjoys.

    I think that most gifts fit into this category.  Finding a gift that fits someone’s hobbies or activities is fairly easy to do and it is what many people turn to when trying to decide what gift to give.

    • Technology/Electronics: 
      • Accessories: headphones/ear buds 
      • Upgrade current device: phone, tablet, computer
      • Video Games: new or upgrade current system
      • Home Theater System: sound bar, speakers
      • Streaming Devices: Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick
      • Go Pro
    • Sports:
      • Basketball: shoes, jerseys, shorts, balls, basketball standard
      • Golf: drivers, wedges, putter, gloves, balls, bag
      • Rock climbing: pass for indoor quarry, shoes, rope, clips and carabiners, upgrade current pass
      • Fishing: various lures and bait, polarized sunglasses, reels, waders, fishing vest, tackle box
    • Food: 
      • Gift certificate to a nice restaurant or favorite restaurant
      • Gift certificate for their favorite treats
    • Events: 
      • Tickets to a concert or play
      • Voucher for special interest classes (photography, cooking, art, etc): check out group deal websites, such as Groupon, Living Social and Amazon Local
      • Tickets to a sporting event
    • Outdoors: 
      • Camping: tents, cooking accessories, hatchet, air mattress or cot
      • Hunting: guns, bows, camo
    • Movies/Music/TV: 
      • Itunes gift cards
      • Amazon gift cards
      • Movie theater tickets 
      • Subscription to sports or other special interest package (NBA Fast Pass, NFL)
    • Fitness: 

    Gift Guide: Men--HUGE list of ideas for gifts to give the men in your life

    Sentimental: These gifts are given with special thought to the meaning behind it.

    When I think of sentimental, the first thought that comes to my mind isn’t men.  That’s not to say that men can’t be sentimental.  In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite in some cases.  But thinking of a gift for a man that is sentimental can be challenging, especially if you don’t think of them as being sentimental, romantic or emotional.

    So my suggestion is this: Find out what their love language is.  If you haven’t heard of this term before, it is a concept developed by Dr. Gary Chapman and it is basically the way that we feel most loved, divided into 5 languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts.  Go to this website and have them take a little 30 question quiz and tell you the result.  (You can take it too!)  Knowing how they feel most loved can help you know what type of sentimental gift they’d like to receive.

    Once you know their love language, take a look at the ideas within each category for some direction.

    • Words of Affirmation
      • Create a list of things you appreciate about him.  Print out the list as a whole on some nice paper, or cut it up and put them in a jar for him to look at individually.
      • Write a letter about why you love him, or the moment you fell in love with him.
    • Acts of Service:
      • Perform secret acts of service.
      • Purchase a gift certificate for a service that you can’t perform that you know they have been wanting done, such as cleaning out air ducts, gutter cleaning, carpet steaming, painting, etc.
    • Quality Time:
      • Buy tickets to an event or activity that you can go to together and spend some one on one time.
      • Plan date nights for the next year–weekly, bi-monthly, monthly (whatever fits your schedule)–and commit to doing it.
      • Schedule a weekend getaway.
    • Physical Touch:
      • Offer a massage each night for a week, after they workout or just after a long day.  Give coupons that can be redeemed.
      • Buy a soft blanket or comfy lounge clothes.
    • Receiving Gifts
      • A countdown to the special day with a gift for each day (example: 12 days of gifts for birthday, anniversary, Christmas, etc).
      • A photo book or scrapbook of a period of time, event or theme.
      • Create a scavenger hunt with clues that lead up to the gift’s location.
      • A watch or other item that he can add to his collection.

    I hope you were able to find some new ideas!  What other gifts do you like to give to the men in your life?

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