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12 Days of Shopping: High Tech/Low Tech Gifts (Day 6)

High Tech and Low Tech Holiday Gifts

I am so not an early technology adopter that it’s ironic that I am doing the High Tech portion of this category. Capability:Mom is much more technologically savvy than I am, but she has been assigned Low Tech.  It’s a year to stretch ourselves! Read more…

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12 Days of Shopping: Teacher/Tutor Gifts (Day 5) GIVEAWAY

Gifts for Teachers and Tutors

We have a slew of tutors to remember every holiday season, both Capability:Mom and I.  And by tutors, I use this as a catch-all to mean all the extracurricular teachers that do 1:1 or small classes with my kids for things like math, Spanish, Chinese, flute, karate, and the like.  Some moms also include teachers for group classes such as gymnastics and I always feel like a schmuck when I notice them giving beautifully wrapped gifts to them because I have failed to include them on my own list.  Ah well.  It is a crazy, busy time of year! (Day 1 gifts work well for teachers of group classes:  Granola and Granola Bars). Read more…

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Top 10: Best Interior Design Books

Best Interior Design Books

DesignTrackMind calls these beautiful interior design coffee table books “design porn.”  I found this great list on Casa Cullen’s wonderful blog and added a few from DesignTrackMind to get this Top 10 List …  interestingly, they like some of the same books!  Even if you are not in the throes of redecorating, these are fun reads. Read more…

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Our Holiday Tradition: Recipe Booklet Holiday Card

Our Holiday Gift Card is a Recipe Booklet

Our family tradition since 1997 has been to make a 12 page holiday recipe booklet as our Christmas & New Year’s card. I do this with my sister and her sister-in-law. There was one year when we opted for traditional cards; my sister had just had her first baby, and I had a toddler and infant. We received immediate feedback from our mailing list that this was not acceptable. Our friends wanted the recipe booklet. Over the years as each family has grown, we’ve opted for separate cover blurbs and photos specific to each family but the recipe portion is the same. Read more…

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12 Days of Shopping: Mom/Mom-in-Law and Dad/Dad-in-Law (Day 4)

Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law Gift Ideas

This holiday season, I am thankful for Capability:Mom who agreed to take the Dad/Dad-in-Law portion of this shopping challenge because my father and father-in-law have both passed on decades ago.  My husband is tough enough to shop for, but that is for another day. Actually, that is Day 9 during our 12 day shopping marathon! Read more…

personalized gifts for teachers

12 Days of Shopping: Personalized Gifts (Day 3)

Gifts You Can Personalize

These personalized, “fancy” return address stampers make me so happy.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mine! I use them for the return address on envelopes but also for stamping the inside of books that I loan out.  I used to save the free return address stickers that some non-profits send you as an incentive to donate money.  When those ran out, I had a very non-fancy return address stamper that was sad-looking and didn’t even work that well.  It’s funny how something very small but indulgent can make me happy each time I use it (even when paying the bills!). Read more…

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12 Days of Shopping: Kids Make Presents, Clove Fruit (Day 2)

Gifts Kids Can Make for Adults

I am admittedly not good at the arts and crafts thing but luckily Capability:Mom is, well…, more capable than I am so I gave her the harder half of the post:  Mod Podge.  Ok, I don’t even know exactly what Mod Podge is, let alone how to spell it.  As for my half of the post, this is Capability:Mom’s idea, too.  It’s easy enough that even I can pull this off with my kids and it makes beautiful gifts that smell wonderful and festive.  And I could use festive decorating because I am not good at that either. Read more…

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A Parent’s Guide to Facebook: Social Media Safety Laid Out Step by Step

Keeping Kids Safe on Facebook

I found this online from and wanted to save this for myself.  We don’t let the kids on Facebook yet, but my oldest is only in 5th grade.  By Middle School, it seems that all the kids are on Facebook just to deal with homework assignments and to keep up with their friends so we are just a few months away from that.   Read more…

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12 Days of Shopping: Make Your Own Gift, GRANOLA 2 Ways (Day 1)

Best Granola Ever: Recipe Below

Capability:Mom and I are doing a series of 12 posts jointly for the 12 Days of Shopping; one a day starting today for 12 days in a row.  She’ll do half of each post, and I’ll do the other. We selected those requisite gift categories that can be tough to figure out (in-laws, tutors, etc), and wracked our brains for several  hours at our coffee shop. I hope this helps you in your holiday scramble to the finish! Read more…