Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What Women Want Holiday Gift Guide

This is a sponsored post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, if you purchase something via the links I make a small commission which goes towards running this site and likely wine. 

Do you ever feel like you spend the holidays dropping slightly veiled hints to your husband about what you want for Christmas? Like that jewelry catalog that shows up and you keep leaving next to his breakfast spot or the way you mention every night that your Kindle just doesn't work right. You drop hints but he doesn't always seem to get them.

Or maybe you don't know what to get for the women in your life. The teachers, friends, and co-workers that are on your shopping list. I've put together a selection of gifts that will work for all the women and maybe a few of the men in your life.

ALways Smiling - Photo Frames

I'm always a sucker for a cute frame, and these frames are some of the cutest I've seen. The colors, ribbons and wording can be customized creating a one of a kind gift. Photo gifts are one of my favorite gifts to give. I love sharing the memories we have made that year and these frames are a great way to do that.

These frames would make great gifts for grandparents, teachers or friends. I love the one that says, "you're not old, you're vintage!" and the color combo on the green and gold frame is holiday without being overly done. I also love the polka dot frame and matching initial, this would make a great gift for an expecting Mom. Visit ALways Smiling on Facebook to view more frames or to place orders.

Sassy Salty Shore Treats

Who doesn't love chocolate? And if you're anything like me you love a bit of salty with your sweet. Gourmet chocolate covered pretzels from Sassy Salty Shore Treats would make a great gift for teachers, co-workers or a great hostess gift this holiday season.

Pretzels can be customized with different colored sprinkles and a variety of toppings like nuts, caramel or candy coatings. A box of 5 gourmet chocolate covered pretzels is only $10 and has been a popular gift for teachers. Visit Sassy Salty Shore Treats on Facebook to see more delicious treats and to place orders.

Rodan + Fields Cosmetics

After the rush of all the holiday shopping and eating and drinking, I could totally use some pampering. Like most Moms I don't tend to spend money on pampering myself but I love when someone else does. Last year a friend brought me some nicer (not from the drug store) cosmetics and I loved getting something I would not buy myself. Rodan+Fields products make a great stocking stuffer for the women in your life.

Redefine Multi-Function eye cream utilizes peptides to visibly reduce the appearance of crow's feet, dark circles and puffiness.  It also noticeably brightens your eye area with optical filters that reflect light! 
Redefine eye cloths gently remove make and deposit anti-aging peptides to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and puffiness in one easy step!  If you have't tried Rodan+Fields products yet now is the time or give the perfect stocking stuffer this year! Buy both and become a Preferred Customer and Save 10% off all orders and get FREE Federal express shipping!!  Email ginapiscitelli@hotmail.com with any questions. 

Kindle Paperwhite

While I'm still a fan of old fashioned books, I have been reading more and more on my Kindle Fire. Only problem, the screen on my Kindle Fire doesn't work very well in bright lights and since it's about 4 years old it's definitely time to upgrade. I love that the Kindle Paperwhite's screen is easy on the eyes for reading and would be perfect for snuggling up with by my fireplace this winter. 

Kitchen Gadgets

I love kitchen gadgets but I tend to always put off buying them (see a trend here). Last year I treated myself to a Kitchen Aid Mixer, OMG where had it been all my life?! I know my husband rolls his eyes every time I request a kitchen gadget for Christmas but I do love getting them (even if they come from my MIL). On my wish list this year is an immersion blender.

Kitchen gadgets make great gifts for foodie friends or as a hostess gift.

North Face Jacket

Winter for me is all about comfort but I still like to look stylish while being comfortable. I noticed one of the Moms at Jack's school always looks pulled together even in sweatpants and carrying an infant carrier. And I instantly knew why her black North Face Jacket matches everything. Any woman can appreciate a gift that makes them feel pulled together. 

Fashion Service

 While we are on the subject of being pulled together, winter time is the hardest time of year for me to find clothes that I like. In the past week I've brought and returned 2 tops. I never seem to know what I like to wear in the winter (other than sweatpants) but I recently started using Fabletics and I love the quality, style and comfort of the clothes that they offer. I also like that 3 outfits are picked just for me. The other fashion service I'm loving is Stitch Fix. My first fix was a success and I just scheduled my second on to arrive in time for the holidays. A Stitch Fix gift card or a Fabletics delivery would make great gifts for your girl friends. Then you can all get together and check out your fun, fashion finds. 

Wine of the Month Club Subscription

6 Bottle Viva Diva Wine Assortment

When in doubt go with wine, is my motto when it comes to gift giving or when I can't decide what to have at the bar. A wine of the month club subscription is the gift that keeps giving all year round. You have the option of giving a 4 month, 6 month or 12 month subscription. You can also pick what types of wines you want like wines from California or reds only. This is a great gift for your Mom or your Mother-In-Law or a friend who doesn't live close by but you want them to know that you are thinking about them. Hell, it's wine it's a great gift for everyone.

What is on your list this year?

Earn cash back while you shop, make sure you check Ebates before you shop to earn cash back on all your purchases.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Toddler Gift Guide

I was provided with products to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, by using my link to purchase a product I get a small commission that goes towards running this site and wine. 

Toddlers are so much fun to shop for a Christmas. Toys for toddlers are colorful, fun and full of surprises. There are really no right or wrong toys when it comes to shopping for a toddler, and while most of us know that toddlers are just as happy with a box and some wrapping paper, here are some toys for this holiday season that will have your toddler happy and engaged and thinking beyond the box.

Gifts for toddlers

Hippo-Poppin Piano Pal

Recommended for ages 12 months and up. Toddlers will love this colorful, fun piano that has 3 musical keys that light up and is full of surprises. Drop one of three colorful balls through the top of the piano and watch as your toddler giggles in delight as they pop out the Hippo's mouth. Jack had a similar toy when he was a year old and he loved it.

Green Toys

There are 3 Green Toys featured in this years gift guide and for good reason. These toys are colorful, fun and well constructed. But what really sets Green Toys apart from other toys is that they are made in the USA from recycled plastic milk jugs. Green Toys are dishwasher safe and do not contain BPA, phthalates, or PVC. All 3 toys require no batteries or assembly required which is a big plus in Santa's book.

Green Toys Train

Perfect for kids ages 2 and up. The train comes with two characters, a cargo car for hauling and caboose with a removable roof. The train is perfect for open ended imaginative play.

Green Toys Stove Top

For ages 2 and up. the Green Toys Stove Top features 3 dials that rotate, spin and make clicking noises. Kids will love pretending to cook up a great meal on this stove. I love how it is the perfect size for traveling and could easily fit in a diaper bag. Play kitchens are always a big hit with kids. 

Green Toys Helicopter

For ages 2 and up. The Green Toys Helicopter has two spinning rotors, skids for a safe landing and a cute little bear to pilot it. I love how well made this helicopter is and that it can be played with indoors, outdoors or even in the bath tub. This toy is great for inspiring imaginative play. 

Fisher Price Little People City Skyway

You can't really go wrong with any of the Fisher Price Little People toys. These were always some of Jackson's favorite toys and the ones that definitely carried over from toddler to preschooler. Jack had a toy similar to this and he still pulls it out of the basement to play with every now and then. Toddlers will love racing the cars down the ramps that stand over 3 feet tall. They will also enjoy the working crane and little vehicles that are the perfect size for small hands. Recommended for ages 18 months and up. 

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Stroll Along Walker

Doll sold separately 

For those just learning to walk this push along stroller is perfect for getting them up and moving. It's weighted in the front so you don't have to worry about your little one falling over. Press the bear on the handle and one of three musical tunes plays. Kids will love pretending to be just like mom pushing this stroller around. Recommended for ages 9 months and up. 

KidKraft Bead Maze Cube

Activity cubes are perfect for encouraging toddlers to stand up and play. This activity cube features a shape sorter, bead maze and working gears. Toddlers will love exploring all 4 sides of play. Activity cubes teach toddlers how things work and cause and effect skills. Recommended for ages 1 and up. 

Want to earn CASH BACK while you shop make sure to check out Ebates, with participating stores you can earn cash back on all your purchases. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Enjoy Every Day

I should be enjoying these days more. This is the thought that goes through my head at 4:30 on a Tuesday when I'm just done. Done with the whining and the, "hey moms" and the "can I have another" and the "can you play". And I feel bad. Feel bad that I was daydreaming about my cubicle at work and the quiet that comes with it.


I wrote those words last Tuesday night after a long day.

Then on Wednesday I went to work and it was anything but quiet. Within the first hour I found out that my long time friend and supervisor was leaving the company. I was so sad that this person who always had by back at work, who supported me and always kept the door open for me, would be moving on to another job.

Then a few minutes later we learned that one of our co-workers in another office, a woman who I had worked with for a little while, had died suddenly. Her and her son had been killed, by someone they knew and trusted.

I can't explain the sadness and devastation and loss that shook by soul and yet I felt guilty for feeling that way. Knowing that others knew her better, others loved her. That my co-workers who were friends with her, who sat next to her, that they and her family were the ones that were really suffering.

And as I thought of my friend and her son, I thought of those words I had typed. I thought of how I had daydreamed about being at work.  And I felt so guilty for my lack of patience. For not being grateful for what I have. I wanted to leave work, drive home and hug my little boy.

This post was going to be about how we need to stop telling moms "to enjoy these years" because all it does is make them feel guilty for the moments that they aren't enjoying. Instead I'm going to say enjoy every day, it's a gift, a blessing and we are promised nothing.

As the holiday season approaches I'm going to try to be more patient, more kind, more loving. I'm going to take more time to play and have fun and make memories. I'm going to think about my friend who always had a smile and a laugh, and I'm going to try to live a little louder. Because life is fleeting and every day should be an attempt to be your best, to take nothing for granted and be grateful.