Holiday Gift Guide

I come across all kinds of great gifts in my daily life, blogging, and entertaining endeavors and I'll keep a running list here on TTT. The holidays are a favorite time of year for me but I do my shopping early, online and in stores. I hear so many complaints by Christmas eve about how hectic the season is, how rushed they feel and how they can't find a minute to kick back with the family and enjoy this amazing time of year when we celebrate family, friends and faith. I hope these recommendations help everyone find that perfect gift a little quicker with time leftover to celebrate what the season is truly about!

Good Better Best Wines, Carolyn Evans Hammond
            What a fabulous little pocket guide to wines.  Carolyn Hammond hit the nail on the head with this one. The book is organized by wine types, and within those categories by Good, Better, Best choices all for affordable prices. The guide is small enough to travel to the store with, easy to reference and rapidly joining my must-give list for hostesses and wine lovers alike.   Did I mention these are down to earth wines, all less than $15 a bottle? This book was intended for the everyday wine drinker and focuses on wine that is readily available and affordable.  If there is a wine lover on your Christmas list, this is the gift for them!

The Wealthy Freelancer
            A must read for anyone thinking about starting a business.  The book is broken down into twelve simple secrets to succeeding as a freelancer. Although life is never that easy, these are tried and true practical tips on starting and running a business. From dealing with clients who think your price is too high, to handling negative reviews, this book is sure to become a pocket guide that you will read and read again. My favorite section was Secret 5: Cultivate Repeat and Referral Business

New Resume, New Career
            In this economy, who doesn’t know someone looking to find a job or change jobs. This practical guide (it’s not really a book as much as a collection of resume examples) clearly shows how to take your existing resume and reformat it for a new career. The book is broken down into sections and has a great introduction on creating a winning resume. From there you can flip to Changes in Industry, Changes in Job Function or Changes in Both to see how to best reformat your existing resume.  For recent college graduates or past masters looking to make a job change this book has practical answers that will eliminate a lot of google searches.

Under the Sea and Look! Shapes
            My baby loved this DVD set.  It was simple and I love the repeat play feature and simple, calming patterns. I'm not a huge fan of TV for tots but with super sized TVs in most living rooms I can easily see how it can be distracting and eye-catching for babies.  So with that in mind I give two thumbs up for a DVD combo set that is educational, entertaining and friendly for Mom and Dad.

Baby Baby Baby!
            Baby Baby Baby is a precious little board book that is written in so that the reader can act out movements and sounds with the listener.  It’s the perfect length for a baby/early toddler’s attention span. My 5 month old loves it and it is rapidly becoming a must read each night.

If I Could Keep You Little...
            I loved this book! My son gave it a thumbs up...according to him, it wasn't a funny book but it was a good book.  :) Leave it to a four year old! It's written from a Mother's point of view as she does the hardest thing moms have to do...stand back and let your kids grow up.  I'll admit it, I teared up reading this one and at the same time laughed out loud at my son's reaction to the pictures and scenarios.  As I was reading about tree climbing I had a monkey interrupting me to tell me he wanted to climb the tallest tree around.  All in all it was a great addition to our library and I highly recommend it for any families with children 6 and under.

Born Free Bottles
            When these arrived for me to review I actually left them in the box for a week.  My 4 month old was refusing all bottles and I had little hope that a fifth brand would work any better than the previous four…and yet it did. Now she may have just finally been coming around to the idea of using a bottle, she could have just been really hungry, there’s no telling but Born Free did what Soothie, The First Years and Breastflow bottles couldn’t.  They got my baby to use them!  Then I did some research on their website and they offer a recyclable bottle.  As a mom who just threw away so many bottles (thank you recent BPA announcements) from my first child, the idea that I could recycle bottles back makes my eco-friendly soul so happy! Check them out…I’m definitely feeling converted.

Wall Pops-Zebra
            I love to paint. I find it a fast, affordable way to completely redecorate a room ovr the weekend.  Over the last five years that I’ve been married I’ve convinced my husband to repaint countless rooms, but he stopped buying it about a year ago.  Then along came my daughter and I had visions of pink walls that got shot down. So I had to figure out how to decorate the kahki colored walls in a way to let her personality shine through.   Thank goodness for wall pops.  Liv’s room is soon to be decked out in zebra patterns with pink and green accents and it won’t take a single drop of paint to do it!  I’m a huge fan of the removable stickers that can be repositioned or removed without ever damaging the paint.  Check out all the amazing options they have available!  From nursery designs to modern patterns you are sure to find something for everyone.

Belly Dance for Fitness
         Get ready for the wave of Healthy Eating and Gym Workout New Year's resolutions! You know if Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is around the corner, then it's only a matter of time until ... New Year's and it's ritual of gym membership and carrot stick lunches arrive. Actually skip that this year and hide out at home having a blast belly dancing the jelly belly away! :) Check out my review of Belly Dancing for Fitness.