Unique Gifts for the Special People in Your Lives – Part Two

It can get confusing this time of the year deciding on who you should buy gifts for. Does the mailman really deserve a tip? How about the babysitter who not only loves your kids but also frees up your Friday nights? I’ve pulled together a few more unique gift ideas and this time we’ll talk about some of the important, but possibly overlooked, people in your lives.

Your hairstylist — You give her monthly updates of your on-going family drama and she knows your secrets like only a good friend would. She also knows how you like you hair colored, cut, and styled. Why not show her some appreciation with this one of a kind wig hat? It’s perfect for those bad hair days that no stylist should ever have. Not digging the bright orange color? Don’t worry, Uncommon Goods also offers it in black.

wig hat uncommon goods

Your postal carrier — Let’s face it, your postal carrier is Santa. He (or she) lugs around that heavy ass bag bringing you packages year round. There should be a few weeks out of the year when they get some recognition for all the hard work they do. Giving your postman this cozy and festive hat from tipsy elves will show him that you recognize his labor intensive job.. It will also help keep his face warm.

Your boss — You’re hoping for a promotion next year and have decided to get your supervisor a holiday gift to seal the deal. What do you get the man in charge who already has everything? Forget an engraved pen or fancy paper weight! This wooden bow tie from Uncommon Goods is sure to put you on his radar. Not only is it practical but it also goes with all of his shirts. He will be thinking of you each time he puts it on — from staff meetings to Sunday brunches.

wooden bowtie uncommon goods

Your babysitter — Finding someone you could trust with your precious little ones with was hard to do. Luckily, you have someone who is there in a flash to put your offspring to bed while you go out drinking with your spouse. Show a little gratitude! Let your babysitter know they truly are a super-hero with these Batman hoodie and footsie pajamas from Spencer’s. Bonus: These jammies come with a cape for the times they’re flying by the seat of their pants trying to entertain your little angels.

Your assistant — Some of the hardest workers in your office are the assistants. Show them how cool you are and encourage them to keep working hard for the money with this blinged out sweater from Target. All of their friends and family will be envious when they see how loved they are by their boss! The dozens of compliments they’ll receive while wearing this festive holiday sweater will surely make them feel special; it’s destined to become a seasonal favorite.

ugly sweater target

Your questionable neighbor — It’s hard to know for sure, but judging by the smell and sounds that come from your neighbor’s house, you suspect she may be a cat hoarder. Avoid an awkward conversation and hold off calling the SPCA by doing a little investigating first. This extra special book from Barnes and Noble offers the perfect excuse to be a nosy neighbor without being glaringly obvious. Knocking on the door to drop of this thoughtful gift will be just the kind gesture you need to find out exactly what is going on behind those walls.

Your neighborhood strays — You feel bad for the stray cats that roam the streets but don’t want to take them in. Once the cold weather comes around for the winter you know you’ll be feeling horrible if you don’t do something to help them out. Why not give them a little love and a taste of home with this toilet bowl water dish from Spencer’s? It will look great on your front porch and make you feel good for helping out the homeless little critters.

Disclaimer! Give these gifts at your own risk. I’m not held liable for horrific hair cuts, damaged packages, loss of wages, missed sexy time, shortage of staff, pissed off neighbors or fines from the HOA.

El the Elf

We used a free iphone app by Office Max called Elf Yourself to make this funny video starring El as a dancing elf. We have been making a lot of these videos over the past few days and it’s been a fun and easy way to entertain everyone for a few minutes.

If you have an iphone or an ipad, and you haven’t played with it already, check it out by clicking the link above!

Unique Gifts for the Special People in Your Lives

ryan gossling diary

Did any of you venture out into the retail world yesterday for Black Friday shopping? We did and even though we didn’t see any impressive sales, I did happen upon these impressively weird (but fun) items in a hidden isle at Target.

First up, we have this lovely fridge magnet. This straight forward and colorful magnet would be a great gift for the furry creature (or furry creature lover) on your list:

dog magnet
Every dog deserves a magnet expressing his true feelings.

For the foodie on your list, why not give the gift of pickles. In eraser form:

pickle erasers
For the foodie on your list. Or the eraserer. Or the pickle fan.

Hey Girl! Don’t forget about that feminist friend in your life! This Ryan Gosling diary is perfect for remembering all of those strong girly thoughts.. He will encourage you to just be you daily:

ryan gossling diary
Dear Ryan,
Today I decided to conquer the world.
ryan gossling diary
He’s handsome and encouraging.

For the world traveler on your gift list, think about giving this straight forward luggage tag:

luggage tag
Airport security will appreciate the honesty.

Everyone has a rebel in their life. Encourage their bad-ass side with this flashy mohawk. It’s perfect for all occasions, from birthday parties to mosh pits:

lightup mohawk
For the rebel on your list.

For the blossoming designer on your list consider these wax gnome statues. They are sure to be a unique conversation piece and come in a variety of trendy colors:

Wax gnomes (minus the wicks) in trendy colors of coral and turquoise.
Wax gnomes (minus the wicks) available in coral and turquoise.

Last, but not least (and my personal favorite) this book is sure to bring a chuckle to even the most depressed person in your life:

A great read for those on your list who enjoy feeling sorry for themselves.
A great read for those on your list who enjoy looking at life from the glass is half-empty perspective.

Did you see any wild and silly items while you were out shopping or searching the net? Stay tuned, once a week up until Christmas I’ll be highlighting more of the unique gifts available for everyone in your life!

We Hate Steak!

beef

I used to complain about my mom always making chicken or steak for dinner when I was growing up. “It’s always chicken or steak! I hate steak! We had chicken the other day!” I wonder how many of the below conversations my mom had with me about the menu.

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“Pot roast and mashed potatoes but they won’t be ready for a few hours.”

“URGHHH. Why do you keep making stuff I don’t want?!”

“Well, what would you want?”

“We had steak yesterday. And. You know I hate steak.”

“You love steak. What would you like to eat?”

“You are always making stuff that I don’t like!”

“Well, what would you like to eat?”

“What is there?”

“Pot roast but it won’t be ready for a few hours.”

URGH…

“I can make what you like to eat tomorrow. What would you like?”

“I’m ordering food from Golden Crust.”

“If you want to waste your money, then fine. But, what would you like for dinner tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I don’t want to waste my money. Can I get a sandwich at Wawa?”

“No, I’m not spending money. I made pot roast. You’ll like it. It’s good. What would you like tomorrow?!”

{he orders fries and mozzarella sticks; then eats dinner with us anyway}

“This is really good and I love the potatoes! It’s like roast beef!”

“That’s what pot roast is. Did you decide what you want tomorrow?”

“…”

***

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“Sandwiches from Wawa.”

“URGHH! You said it was my turn to pick!”

“You never answered me and I’m not going to the market now.”

“But I want hamburgers!”

I was one of four kids. Did my sister, brothers, or dad gave her lip about what she was cooking, too? How she didn’t give up making dinner every night of week, I’ll never know. She must have wanted to strangle me.

I’m sorry for being such a brat, Mom. I hope it brings a smile to your face knowing that karma has come back two-fold to bite me in my ass.

Co-Sleeping Equals No Sleeping

Our youngest, who’s almost six months old, sure loves hijacking our bed sleeping with us. This was nice for a little while, but now it’s just annoying. Sure, it was fun in the beginning, and it felt nice to have him snuggle with us, but after a few months, co-sleeping has become a literal pain in the neck.

Seriously.
My neck hurts.

Like me, baby boy loves to snuggle. and stretch out. simultaneously. and he’s really good at it. He does this in such a way that I often wake up finding myself half-way off of the bed while his head is buried in my neck and his little feet are pressed firm against BF’s chest.

20131124-081752.jpg

Aside from the bed hog hogging the bed, he likes to wake up frantically in “starving to death” mode, every three hours. Baby boy then nurses for 8 seconds before falling back asleep while I am left to lay the most uncomfortable way possible.

BF and I are realizing how ridiculous this has become and want to move him to his crib so we can snuggle with each other. And sleep. On the bed. It’s not that we don’t love baby boy, we just love (and miss) un-sore necks and unbroken sleep. So, we are making a plan to sleep train our little monster. It will be lovely when he sleeps in his crib. By himself. Hopefully, our plan will work and we will all sleep comfortably through the night.

She Forgot to Mention One Little Thing

My daughter “HATES” Christmas music. She’s been saying this for over two years now but could never give me a reason. I don’t believe that she really hates it, maybe it annoys her, but hate! That’s a pretty strong feeling to have against Frosty.

We tease her about it occasionally, but this morning we decided to take it up a notch:

  • Every time we walked by her, or were in hearing range, we’d “accidentally” sing a Christmas song.
  • We determined that El wanted to listen to (rather loud) Chipmunks singing Rocking Around the Christmas Tree while he was in his bouncer. He loved it. She did not.
  • We thought it would be fun to play more Christmas songs — after making sure the music could be heard from where she was sitting downstairs.
  • We told her we were thinking of installing a whole house stereo system.
  • My favorite part of the morning was when I found all the Christmas songs she used to love as a little kid on You Tube, then posted them on her Facebook page.

She loves us. And I know she secretly still loves Christmas music. Or, maybe I’m just really evil.

“They get stuck in my head all day,” she explained this evening.

She’s probably laying in bed now, counting reindeer, trying to fall asleep. I should go sing her a lullaby..

Sensai Trains the Toilet Paper Ninja

We do so many silly things in this house on a daily basis that I’ve decided to make Sunday’s about our silliness. I might tell a short story, post some images capturing the moments, or maybe a video, who knows. We really are a wacky bunch who like to goof around and laugh.

In my first post for Silly Sunday I’ve included some pictures I took of my sons. Isaac (the older one) dressed El (the baby) up in toilet paper and a snap bracelet and taught him some karate. I told you we were goofy ūüôā

I Can’t Complain. A Kind of Complaint

When my sister texted me sometime ago and asked how I was doing, I replied back “I can’t complain… more than normal.”

I had written that item on my list because when anyone asks my Dad how he is doing, he says “Oh, I can’t complain.” I’ve always liked his response, as it sounds so casual, so laid back and cool. Obviously, ¬†life’s been a bit of a mess for me so I added the “more than normal” for good measure but it didn’t sound read as cool as I thought it would.

Now, this wasn’t my first attempt with using this response; the first time didn’t go very well either and left me a bit dumb founded. I decided to try it out on an older man I used to work with. He is about my Dad’s age and I thought for sure he’d recognize the phrase and be impressed with my maturity.

He didn’t blink an eye and just said without a thought, “What’s the use, no one listens anyway.”

It kind of set me back when he responded, I had never heard anyone say such a thing to my Dad before. In fact, people usually¬†respond to my Dad with something like “good, good, blah blah blah” or something along those lines. I chalked it up as my co-worker was having a rough day but was curious if I should ever use the phrase again. I’d rather not open up a window of negativity, ya know?

Months later, when¬†the chance¬†came to use the phrase again with my sister, her reply was “good, yada ya” and I felt better but wondered if it was because she is used to hearing the phrase? Would other people respond to me the same as she or would they take the older grouchy guy approach? I also wondered if she thought I was a dork or cool like my Dad.

Yes, I wonder aboout these things.

I figured out that there is a 50/50 chance in response and have decided that I will no longer be using that phrase for a few reasons:

    1. ¬†It could potentially trigger a negative response, which is not what I’m looking for
    2.  I have plenty to complain about and anyone who knows me would mark me a liar
    3. ¬†I’m just not cool enough yet to pull that old casual phrase off

My Dad, however, rocks it and should continue to use it as it works well for him.

As for me, I will stick to the old school words of dang, icebox, and my ever favorite, dry up and bust, which always sound cool. 

That Didn’t Really Go How You’d Planned, Now Did It?

My children of the corn really think they are slick.

Or that I am stupid.

Or a little bit of both…

Mind you, these little brats are entering their teen years and have way more freedom than I did at the age of 16.

They are pulling stunts that I tried around that age, too.

Unfortunetly, (for them) I’ve pulled every trick in the book and their ideas are not original.

Poor fools, they might partially pull the wool over my eyes, but in the end they ALWAYS get caught.

Being the mother of two sneaky, bad asses, I officially declare it my mission to catch them in every act of household crime and make them pay in chores and the tourture of spending time with their smarter-than-we-think-you-are mother.

So what did they do this time? Here is a reinactment of last nights events and I will point out where I so obviously made my wrong move…

7:00pm phone call from Isaac:

“Mom, can we stay out longer, we aren’t hungry for dinner, we went to Dunkin’ Donuts

Me: I made you dinner, why did you go to DD?

Isaac: We were hungry

Me: Ugh, this is why I am tired of wasting time making dinner, don’t demand that I cook dinner when you aren’t going to eat it.

Isaac: We will heat it up when we get home, can you put it in the fridge? Can we have more time?

Me: Fine, be home at 8:30pm (muttering more about wasting time cooking)

Isaac: Okay, thanks Mom!

8:45pm phone call from Natalie:

“Hi Mommy, can Hanna sleep over?”

Me: You are late. No. Come home.

Nan: Please Mum! She is moving to..

Me: I said No. Come home.

Nan: But Mom! Please! We will be quiet and not fight with Isaac!

Me: Come home now, you slept out last night, don’t ask again! <click>

8:45pm phone call from Nan:

“Pleeeease?! Can she please sleep over?”

Me: No, you have 5 minutes to get home. Don’t ask again <click>

8:46pm phone call from Isaac:

“Hi Mom, can Hanna sleep over?”

Me: I said NO what don’t you understand about COME HOME!

Isaac: Please Mom! Natalie had a sleepover last night, this will be mine!

Me: Get home now! Stop asking the answer is no! NOW! <click>

8:46 pm phone call from Natalie:

Me: I said No! Come home now or you are punished tomorrow

Nan: Mom, PLEASE! She can’t go home, her parents aren’t there, they are at a concert!

Me: That is not my problem, the two of you need to come home now!

Nan: She can’t go home MOM!

Me: Then I am calling the police to tell them that her parents abandon her.

Nan: Mom! Please can she just sleep over? Pleaaa

Me: <click>

8:46 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:46 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:47 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:47 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:53 pm text message from Natalie:

Mom please. Shes neverr been able to and I really want her to. Mom please!!! Ill do chores. Just let her sleepover……………PLEEASEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

me: I said no and now you are both punished tomorrow

Nan: Mom, please! We barely have sleepovers at the house! (this statement is somewhat true… Depending on who is having the sleepover, it usually results in arguments, a trip to the hospital, all of the food in the pantry magically disapearing and/or the house being turned completely upside down) We will be nice to Isaac and this can be the only one of the summer, plus shes moving to Miami soon and we will be quiet. We will just be in the basement and on the computer and watch tv.

me: I said no.

me: Get home now

Nan: Mom, please!

8:54 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:54 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:55 pm phone call from me to Nan:

Me: Why aren’t you home yet?

Nan: Hi, Mom! Can we go to Faiths and watch a movie, her Dad said it was okay, Hanna is sleeping there, Faiths dad will walk us home when the movies over, can we please?

Me: MY MAJOR ERROR: Fine, but you ARE punished tomorrow, I will leave the door unlocked

Nan: Yay! We can Isaac! Thanks Mom! I love you!

11:40pm: I turn on the porch light, look outside and see my kids plus ANOTHER kid walking up toward the house. They see the light come on and I clearly see their panic set in.

Me to the cat: Those bastards think they are really slick, Spook.

I went out the back door to calmly wait for their next move. They obviously thought I’d be sleeping and that they could sneak this Hanna girl into my house for the sleepover without me knowing.

I am standing on the back steps and after a few minutes see Isaac walk towards the house, (they apparently were coming up with a “plan” in the case that I saw them) 30 seconds later Natalie walks toward the house.

Hmm, where’s the third one?

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Bang! A little purple shirt runs up the driveway and hides next to the bump out.

At this point I am watching the front door through the back window to see how they are going to proceed.

Nothing.

Finally my anger sets in and I go through the house, out to the front porch and catch a glimpse of Nan running up the driveway.

me: NATALIE!

Nan: oh, hi Mom!

me: Get in the house!

Isaac: Hi Mom

me: Let’s go!

they nervously walk towards me

Me: Where’s the other one?

Nan: There is no other one!

me: I saw her, where is she?

Nan: You don’t know what you’re talking about (love that)

me: I saw her. I’m calling the cops about the runaway (she isn’t a runaway- I was using a scare tatic) ¬†in my drive way if you don’t get in this house!

Nan: Sorry, Mom.

12:00 am in the house:

me: Do your parents know where you are??!

Hanna: Yes

me: <a whole bunch of yelling and screaming at my kids> I’m not mad at you Hanna, I am mad at Natalie and Isaac. I know they put you up to this. You are both punished for the entire week. Give me your phones, ipods. No computer, no pool, no phones, no tv. ONE WEEK.

Isaac: Mom I love you, I’m sorry. Do you want me to do anything?

me: FOLLOW THE RULES!!!!!

So now the deviants are all sleeping in the living room. I contimplated driving her home last night, but it was midnight, and I am CERTAIN this was my kids plan that she niavely got sucked into.

The pool opens at 11:00 am, at that time I will be dropping Hanna off and driving the kids to the Home Depot. I’m buying a new weed wacker, mulch, some super heavy rocks and plants.

Yup, my kids have a very fun week of yard work ahead of them.

I hope it is as hot and humid as hell all week long. It will make it that much better when I’m in the air conditioned house barking the occasional orders at them.

Crossing off the list: Buy new pillows and find something GREAT on clearance (a new featherbed for $60 bucks, can’t beat it!) Totally random but the above story was much more interesting to share.