Holiday Gift Guides: The Parentals

If you are like me, you struggle every year with what to get your parents for Christmas.  Generally I can get by with finding something for my mom, but for my dad–that’s a tough one.  As I went on the hunt I found some pretty cool things….granted, some of these are out of my price range but they may not be out of yours so I thought I’d pass them along!

  1. Frontgate, Amplified Phone with Answering System-check out the HUGE numbers and the PHOTO speed dials!
  2. Old Navy, Cable Knit Cocoon Cardigan
  3. American Apparel, Circle Scarf
  4. Sur La Table, Moistly Grilled Cast Iron Grill Humidifier
  5. Amazon, Vacuum Seal Marinizer System
  6. Williams-Sonoma, Monogrammed Forged Steak Brand
  7. Crate and Barrel, Pixie Candleholder
  8. Sundance, Mason Jar Snowglobe
  9. Crate and Barrel, Fiesta At Rick’s Cookbook by Rick Bayless
  10. Sur La Table, Jura Cup Warmer-OMG this is so cool!
  11. The Home Depot, Wireless Rain Gauge
  12. The Home Depot, Ames Water Genie

Cook Bookin’ It

I’ll be the first to admit, I own a lot of cookbooks and I RARELY use any of them to cook! However, that doesn’t mean I don’t love getting them and dreaming of all the items I COULD be making.

My latest Bon Appetit magazine had a list of the top cookbooks of the year and here are a few that I wouldn’t mind adding to my collection!

  1. Time for Dinner: Strategies, Inspiration, and Recipes for Family Meals Every Night of the Week
  2. Forgotten Skills of Cooking
  3. Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for all things Sweet and Wonderful
  4. The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual

Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories for the kiddos…My little guy was born in October so we’ve been gifted many Halloween themed books and this year he has become obsessed with PUNKINS! Mama! Punkins!  I think I’ve read #2 approximately 1.2 billion times this week already.  But hey, I like Duck & Goose, so I can hack it.  I’m curious, do any of you have #5 or #6? Any good?  Do you have Halloween favorites you read to your kids?

  1. Happy Halloween Biscuit
  2. Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin
  3. Plumply Dumply Pumpkin
  4. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
  5. I’m Not Scared
  6. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Books I Love

Sarah recently talked about movies that she can just watch over and over and over again. I have a list of books that I could read over and over and over again.  Now these may not all be literary genius according to many, but the way a book gets on this list for me is if I get to the end of the book and I DON’T WANT IT TO END.  It’s like I go through some sort of withdrawal from the story after.  Court says we are chasing a high that the book gives us.  So these are my books that I could read over and over again.  I guess I’m a sucker for a love story (with the exception of A Million Little Pieces).

What are the books you could read over and over again?

  1. The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger*
  2. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans*
  3. A Million Little Pieces, James Frey
  4. The Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer*

*The majority of these have been made into movies and ALWAYS, ALWAYS the books are a thousand times better.

Coffee Table Books

Coffee table books are are great to have laying around your living room or den because they can be really cool conversation starters, and they also make awesome gifts!

These are a few that I think would be great on my coffee table:

  1. ‘The World in Vogue: People, Parties, Places’
  2. ‘Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present’
  3. ‘Strive for Honor: Texas Tech’s Past, Present and Future’
  4. In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits
  5. ‘Houston. It’s Worth It’
  6. ‘The City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York’

Now I’m going to tell you…

Ya’ll gave me some really good recs earlier with regards to my book list and I wouldn’t be doing you justice if I didn’t share as well.

  1. Possible Side Effects
  2. Wolf Across the Table
  3. Dry
  4. Running with Scissors
  5. Magical Thinking

So I got ROPED into these books and this author the instant that someone recommended I pick up Dry.  I don’t have a clue why I find his dysfunction and addition so fascinating–but I have read all five of these books more than once and think you should too!

You Tell Me

Which of these should I be reading next.

Ak and I often read together so that we talk and rant about the books at the same time. This became a favorite passtime with the Twilight Saga books, but I am looking for our next high.

  1. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  2. A Reliable Wife
  3. The Same River Twice
  4. Some Girls Are

If you have even better suggestions, throw em my way.  I prefer a good, fast, dark read-but am open to just about anything.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

As you know, Court and I are Twi-hards.  I wouldn’t necessarily call us fanatics or anything, we are just fans.  Der is too, although she hasn’t read any of the series, her sister has just told her all the details from the book and then she watched the movies.  Court and I have tried to get Der to read the books and granted, she started the first one but I don’t think she ever finished it.  Meaning I think she may have gotten to page 5 and then her sister was just basically her Cliff’s Notes. So I think that makes Der a Twi-Semi Hard (no pun intended).

So anyway, back to the subject at hand.  Eclipse.  It’s coming out next week.  My husband has so graciously decided to take off work and take me to the 10a showing because it comes out on my birthday.  What a present eh?  And before you say anything, I’m going to just go ahead and out my husband because he has also read all of the books and watched the movies and I’m not sure if he’s going to kill me for saying that, but I don’t think it’s going to be a hardship for him to watch the movie with me, if you get my drift.

I was seriously tempted to do the whole Twilight she-bang at our theater the night before where they show Twilight, New Moon and then a midnight showing of Eclipse…but let’s be honest here…I’d still have to get up at 6:30a with the kiddo and I honestly don’t know if I could stay up that late.  Pathetic, I know.  So I would like to know who of you are Twi-hards and are you going to see the movie when it comes out?

My First Library

On a whim, while I was browsing Barnes & Noble* a few weeks back, I ran across these Sesame Street board books as a set called My First Library.  They were a HIT at my household.  Somebody who will remain nameless ran around our house yelling COOKIE! COOKIE! EGGO! OSSER!  So the other day I was in B&N again and as I was walking out I saw they had a whole crapload of these My First Library sets in all sorts of themes.  And guess who is kicking herself for not buying the Toy Story one.  Stupid Stupid Stupid.

  1., Sesame Street My First Library
  2. Amazon, Disney Pixar My First Library
  3., Mickey Mouse Clubhouse My First Library
  4., Disney Princesses My First Library

*I couldn’t find these on B&N’s website but I found identical ones on these other sites listed above.  B&N stores had a buttload of them though…

Baby Name Game

Trying to decide on baby names with my husband goes a little something like this:

  • Me: Oh, I like (insert cute name here)! How about that?
  • Husband: Hell no.
  • Me: But, why? Why don’t you like it?
  • Husband: I don’t know, I just don’t. I’ll know it when I hear it.
  • Me: Ok, well, are there any names that you like?
  • Husband: No, just keeping naming them and I’ll just tell you when I hear one I like.
  • Me: (use every ounce of energy I have left not to slap husband around)

So, I have been relying on reading pages upon pages of baby name books to get inspiration and these are the best ones that I have found.

  1. Amazon, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana: What to Name Your Baby Now –  this is the newer version that haven’t read yet
  2. Amazon, The Baby Name Wizard
  3. Amazon, Baby Names Now: From Classic to Cool
  4. Amazon, The Everything Baby Names Book
  5. Amazon, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to 40,000 Baby Names