Fun & Festive Holiday Gift Guide

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November is going by quickly like it always does, so here are some fun and festive gift ideas for your shopping list since Christmas Day will be next month!

For Kids:

*The Book With No Pictures ($10.79 on Amazon). I wish this book would have been around when my kids were little.  Written by famous actor B.J. Novak from The Office fame this children's book has zero pictures, just like it promises, which forces adult readers to really have some fun and emphasize the silly words that are part of the text that makes fun of a book with no pictures.  This in turn makes fun of the reader who reads aloud that the book is in charge so the silly words must be read.  It is a kid pleasing book that gets kids off the electronics and provides quality and bonding time together doing a very healthy thing, laughing and reading.  I highly recommend this.  

* Mug With A Hoop! ($24 at www.maxiscreations.com and at select Nordstrom's stores) - I love that this fun gift is created by a kid for kids.  This oversized, basketball-shaped mug is perfect for shooting marshmallows into hot cocoa, tossing berries into cereal or swishing crackers into soup. Designed by a now 10-year old basketball fan in Boston, Max wanted Mug With A Hoop to bring game time fun to meal and snack time. It’s dishwasher safe and holds 16 ounces. MAX’IS Creations are sold online at www.maxiscreations.com and in 40 Nordstrom stores.

*Monte and the Magnificent Star.  An Arizona Tale  - I like that this is a local book about our state and is written by mother, clinical social worker, wife and now author, Jennifer Hecker DuVal.  The book “Monte and the Magnificent Star. An Arizona Tale" is a journey of a little boy, Monte, through the wonderful treasures across Arizona, written by the wife of former gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal.  Hecker DuVal takes us on an adventure through the eyes of a little boy, showing off the wonders of Arizona, teaching us a state history lesson along the way and reminding Arizona residents why this is an amazing state we live in and why we should be grateful to call it home.  This new children’s book is a great story for kids of all ages.  This book can be purchased at Amazon.com or locally at Write-on's, etc.  in central Phoenix located at 6201 N. 7th Street.

For the Teacher:

*Super Power Teacher Sign ($10 at Teresa's Creative Gifts) -- This is the perfect teacher's gift!  A cute sign in the form of a wood block that can be displayed on a desk or shelf (also comes in a mug) that says "I Teach, What's Your Super Power?".....enough said, right?!  

For Guys & Gals:

*Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband - ($95.54 on Amazon) -- This gift will work for either guys or gals because this lightweight wristband monitors physical activity by tracking steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes.  Plus sleep is even kept track of with a feature that monitors how long and how well you sleep with a silent alarm that only wakes you and not your partner.  LED lights show how you are doing versus your daily goal.  Get it at www.amazon.com

*Philips DOT Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker Splash Proof ($44.99 at Amazon) -- This handy little speaker is nice to keep in the bathroom or take to the beach since it is splash proof.  It has a built-in speaker for hands free calls and music.  Comes in black, blue and pink at www.amazon.com 

Kiss the Cook Gifts - For those who love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, here are some fun ideas....

*Purefizz Cocktail Gift Set ($64.99 at www.shopmastrad.com) - This fun beverage tool carbonates virtually anything from water,  juices and cocktails to creating sodas.  I'm not a big soda fan, so I like that I can make naturally flavored sparkling water using fresh berries. The set includes Purefizz, 10 cartridges and a recipe book.

*Mastrad's TopChips Gift Set ($24.99 at www.shopmastrad.com) - Create healthy, oil-free, crispy fruit & vegetable chips in the microwave in minutes.  This set allows you to enjoy homemade potato chips without the guilt and I like that idea.  Evenly slice your chips with the food slicer, place your dried chips onto the tray, and place into the microwave to cook.  Definitely a unique kitchen gadget. 

*Mastrad Cupcakes Cupcake Kit ($19.99 at www.shopmastrad.com).  This kit shows how to make a delicious variety of red velvet, carrot, spice cupcakes and more.  Instructions are included that explain how to make perfect cupcakes, through recipes and useful tips included in the enclosed colorful booklet.  

For the College Student, Newlyweds or Young Adult Just Starting Out - Got newlyweds, a college student or someone just starting out on your list?  Here are some ideas...

*Fondue Au Chocolat Chocolate Fondue Maker ($17.99 at www.shopmastrad.com) -- This cute red pot fondue kit is fun to give and easy to use.  Create a gift basket and add the food to dip for an extra cute gift idea. 

*George Forman 5 Minute Burger Maker - ($24.99 at Walmart) -- This handy item toasts the buns while the burgers grill in about 5 minutes.  Simply place the buns on the toaster plate when you turn on the grill and they will be golden and crisp when the burgers are done.  Plus, the exclusive fat-removing slope design takes out up to 42% of the fat from a quarter-pound ground chuck burger, giving you a healthy alternative to pan-frying with the same great-tasting results. This can also be used to grill up chicken, fish, and vegetables.  Pair this with a handy cookbook that has helpful tips for young cooks and add a fun and useful favorite kitchen tool that you swear by.  For me, I would add FreshTape in the college student's collegiate design and colors.  FreshTape is a better alternative to chip clips, which take up much needed drawer space or plastic bags, which are not earth-friendly.  FreshTape is reusable and resealable tape that keeps leftover and opened foods securely closed.  FreshTape is also recyclable, BPA free and is made in the USA by moms who invented this clever product.  FreshTape also comes in all kinds of cute designs, so this can complement all kinds of food gift baskets.  Get FreshTape at www.freshtape.com or buy at Hobby Lobby or at Sur la Table.  

I will have more fun gift ideas next week, so stay tuned for that as you attack your holiday shopping list.  And be sure to check my blog at www.managedmoms.com for more gift ideas, holiday recipes and more. Happy Holiday season.  That got here fast again!