Holiday Gift Ideas (Subtitled: Things I want that you might want, too)

Dear Holiday Season: WE ARE IN YOU.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday only days away, now is the time to start thinking about what to get your loved ones, your liked ones, and your barely tolerated ones for Christmas. I love this time of year when my anxieties about money shoot through the roof! Which is why I tend to avoid Oprah’s Favorite Things because I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to buy an $800 mattress for anyone on my list. And is that really the kind of thing you buy for someone else??? I prefer to choose my own mattress, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some of MY favorite things…things that are totally affordable and practical. Because wouldn’t that be embarrassing if we all showed up to the Christmas Eve party with a $400 cookware set??? (Incidentally, there is a list of Oprah’s Favorite Things for Under $50 that has some pretty cool stuff on it too.)

So let’s begin, shall we?

BOOKS

Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance

 

I haven’t read this, but I think it looks fun. And it’s so preeeeetty!

 

And look at this cute lil fox!! Isn’t he adorable? Because sometimes you need to jot your ideas down in a cute lil notebook!
If foxes aren’t your thing, there are lots of other designs as well.

 

I don’t know…I just feel like this would be perfect for your 12 year old nephew or for that Millennial guy in your office whose name you drew for the Secret Santa.

FACE & BODY

I love this stuff so bad. Actually I kind of like the whole Tarte line, but this stuff is my favorite. And why not make it a set? I’ve had my eye on this Tarte eyeshadow palette for awhile now.

 

I canNOT STAND to wake up with mascara on my eyes, so every night before bed, I swipe my eyes with these. These would be great for Santa to put in someone’s stocking.

 

Oh man. THIS. This is my favorite favorite favorite body lotion. It smells like luxury and feels like rich Corinthian leather. I have the perfume that goes with this lotion and it smells divine also.

 

FOR THE GUYS

For those times when he wants a hammock but can’t find any trees:

You don’t even have to blow it up – just wave it around like you do a trash bag and it fills up with air instantly!

 

My 20 year old son has had a full beard since he was a senior in high school. Why it never occurred to me to get him something like this before is beyond me. (But he’ll be getting it this year for sure!)  Gotta keep that beard looking fresh for the ladies!

HOME STUFF

My BFF got these for me for my birthday and I absolutely love them! If you love Tyler candles, then you will love these thick card stock sheets that make your clothes smell beautiful, and they last quite a while.  The Glam Wash is excellent too (I was my robe and my favorite pjs in it), but it is a little pricier.

 

I am in love with this little clock! The cute fluffy birds, the old time-y font of the numbers, the slate gray color…this would be perfect on my night stand. (hint hint)

 

These are just a few ideas to get your started on your shopping.  I have a lot more ideas to add to this list, but frankly, I have run out of steam for today.  What are your go-to gift ideas? Have you started your shopping yet? Are you a Black Friday shopper or do you wait until Cyber Monday? Or are you more of the panic-at-the-last-minute shopper? I aspire to be finished by December 15th but I always seem to be shopping til December 23rd. Oh well, it all gets done eventually.

 

Amazon links are affiliate links. 

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What I read in 2017

Hola!

I don’t really have anything to say today, just felt like coming over here and writing for a bit.

OH! Let’s talk about books! What’re you all reading right now?

I just finished reading Liane Moriarty’s Truly Madly Guilty
(and I think I heard that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman bought the movie rights to this one) for my book club selection for November. We had our meeting yesterday to discuss it and even though only two of us were there (usually there are 5 of us, but yesterday was one of those dreary, cold, couch-sitting days where you don’t wanna get up and go out, so I understand why hardly anyone showed up), we both decided it was…weird and icky and it just wasn’t what I was expecting. I didn’t find the characters to be particularly likable and the unveiling of the mystery of what happened at the bbq was sort of anticlimactic. And it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. I’ve read a few other books by this author and I’m always left feeling sort of “meh”. But that’s just me.

For December, we decided to keep things light and easy and Christmassy, so we are going to read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

Has anyone read this one yet? Did you like it? It’s available on the Kindle App for only $1.99 right now if you want to read along with us.

I need to make a list of all the books we’ve read this year. Well I suppose I can do that right here and now…

We started in March I think, nope…just checked and we had our first meeting in January with our first book discussion in February. Wow – I can’t believe it’s been almost a year! Anyway, here’s a list of the books we’ve read so far:

February: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

March: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

April: Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran

May: The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

June: Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

July: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

August: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

September: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

October: The Dry by Jane Harper

November: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty 

December: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Just as a side note, we loved all of the Ruth Ware books, and the Ember book. We didn’t so much love Claire DeWitt and we all pretty much hated The Zookeeper’s Wife (it read like a documentary instead of a story). You’ll notice these are not serious literary efforts, but honestly I think what we all want out of this book club is a good story and a reason to get out of the house for a couple of hours, that’s all.

Have you read any of these? Do you have any recommendations for future books? We’re always open to suggestions – and if you want, we can have some book discussions in the comments too. 🙂

These were just the book club books that I read, I usually try to read another book after I finish my book club book. I’ll have to see if I can remember what else I’ve read this year, but I’ll save that for another post later.

Oh, and as always, Amazon links are affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and buy anything from Amazon within the next 24 hours, I get a small commission on whatever you buy. Thank you for clicking! 

Summer of Suspense

I mentioned in my last post that I belong to a bookclub. The name of our book club is “We Don’t Talk About Book Club” and so by talking about book club here, I’m violating the number one rule of book club. If I seem to drop off the face of the planet anytime soon, you’ll know who to blame and you’ll know why. We take book club seriously.

Very. Seriously.

(just kidding, no we don’t. I mean yeah we love it, but sometimes wine is involved, so…)

Anyway, one of our selections earlier this summer was Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood.

http://amzn.to/2y5zU78

I loved, loved this book! (And I have to tell you, my favorite thing about this book is the joke that Tara made when we selected it: “Is it cherry? Mahogany? Walnut? What kind of wood is it????”) If you love a good old fashioned whodunit, you will enjoy this book. Very Agatha Christie. There is a moment in the book where the main character is ticking off who the suspects are and their possible motives and I actually squealed with delight “YES! I freaking love this book!” The rest of the Bookclubbers loved it also, so we all agreed that our next selection should be:

http://amzn.to/2fY2yko

The Woman in Cabin 10 also by Ruth Ware. I also really liked this one and it kept me guessing the whole time. It takes place on a smallish luxury yacht with interesting characters. I especially love the end and the way… well shoot, I can’t say anymore because I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who haven’t read it, but trust me when I say it is suspenseful and a really great read.

At this point we thought well heck, let’s just stay on a roll and finish out the summer with Ware’s final book:

http://amzn.to/2yv8Yij

This book is about 4 school friends who get in over their heads while playing…you guessed it…The Lying Game. I didn’t care for this one as much as the first two, but it was still suspenseful and it kept me entertained. Mel, another book club member, really liked it, but there was something a little darker about this one that disturbed me that I couldn’t really put my finger on. Maybe it was the setting (and old dilapidated Mill in a marsh) or just the subject matter, but I was glad to be finished with this one.

Since we ran out of Ruth Ware’s books to read, we turned to another suspense writer, Jane Harper.

http://amzn.to/2yvpgbg

I just started this one and I’m only a few chapters in, but so far so good. The story is set in Australia where a cop is called home to attend the funeral of a friend, and he sees that things are just not adding up right, so he stays to try and figure out what really happened. If I remember, I’ll come back and do an update once I finish the book.

I really loved our Summer of Suspense, but I think we might all be ready for something a little more light-hearted for awhile. Maybe a love story or a comedy. Have any good suggestions? Leave ’em in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

 

Amazon links are affiliate links – if you click a link and then by ANYTHING on Amazon, I get a teensy commission. Thank you! 

What’s on your coffee table?

I have a niece who is a very stylish, elegant, always-put-together kind of woman. She posted on Facebook recently asking for recommendations on coffee table books, because she is the kind of person who has a stylish, elegant coffee table which she can decorate with stylish, elegant books. Here’s her post:

berlycoffeetable

But me being who I am (and I am afraid I am the Cousin Eddie to her Clark Griswold), hijacked and ruined her post with these suggested gems:

 

 

coffeetablebook

(source)

See? As I told her in her comments, this is why I’m not an interior designer. I have no eye for style. I don’t even own a coffee table anymore because it became a dumping grounds for all of my kids’ stuff – it was always completely covered with papers and books and socks (yes, socks) and cups and wrappers and pencils and just STUFF. So when we got new furniture, we did away with the coffee table and now I have a wooden tray that I set on the middle of the couch as a place to set drinks. When I checked this morning, here’s what was on that tray: earbuds, a book, my reading glasses, a coaster, socks (WHY????), and a pen. I can’t win. But at least the mess is contained to a small 12×18 area that can be quickly cleared. I wish I had thought to take a picture this morning but ya know…Monday.

Here are some more ridiculous coffee table books that I would totally read if I saw them on someone’s table:

badhair

GUYS! You can buy this on Amazon for $.90!! For less than a dollar you can OWN this bad boy! What a time to be alive!!! http://amzn.to/2jCEc0t

 

underwaterdogs

Because dogs are proof that God loves us. http://amzn.to/2ylc6Ky

 

kidsruined

I could have written this book. http://amzn.to/2wADWjY

And here are a few that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole because…ew:

 

So, I’m curious – do you have a coffee table and if so, what’s on it right now? Do you have elegant coffee table books or do you have macaroni and cheese that has cemented itself to the top? Bonus points if you have socks on your table. 🙂

*All of these rare and precious gems were found in this article. I appreciate that someone went to the trouble to find these books before I did. Cheers to you, man. 

*Amazon links are affilitate links.