Category Archives: Uncategorized

100+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas

I started thinking about how to fill stockings for my children (and possibly my spouse) and I realized that I had no idea what to put in a stocking – for a boy, a girl, or my husband.  Sigh.  So…I thought I’d do some looking and make a list of various things that I thought were good ideas and share with others.  Why should all of us have to do the searching and digging?  At any rate, I hope this helps.

I tried not to repeat suggestions, but some are appropriate for any or all of the categories.  In addition, some of these items are good for either gender.  I also did not break these down by age ranges, either, so some are obviously meant for young children and others for teens.

I also welcome additions or suggestions so please comment!

Ideas for Girls

  1.  DVDs
  2. Journal
  3. Dice or card games
  4. Nail polish
  5. Nail decorations
  6. iPod case
  7. Scarves and gloves
  8. Golf balls/tennis balls/hobby items
  9. Really soft socks
  10. Coloring books
  11. Colored pens/crayons/pencils
  12. Jewelery
  13. Craft kits
  14. Puzzles
  15. Gift cards
  16. Stickers
  17. Candy
  18. Small notebook
  19. Pretty night-light
  20. Christmas ornament
  21. Homemade cookies
  22. Key chain/watch/etc.
  23. Magic 8 ball
  24. CDs
  25. Bubbles
  26. Hair clips

Ideas for Boys

  1. Die cast cars
  2. Thumb drive
  3. Action figures
  4. Colored pencils
  5. Drawing pad
  6. Model car kit
  7. Small Lego kits
  8. Specialty toothbrush
  9. Seed packets
  10. Silly putty
  11. Temporary tattoos
  12. Calendar
  13. Hand puppets
  14. Stylus
  15. Handheld games
  16. Travel size games
  17. Fuzzy slippers – or character slippers
  18. Gold-wrapped chocolate coins
  19. Flashlight
  20. Bubble bath
  21. Playdough
  22. Tubes of plastic animals
  23. Animal crackers/fruit treats/ fruit roll-ups
  24. Character pajamas or underwear
  25. Lifesavers storybook
  26. Hair gel

Ideas for Women

  1. Lipstick
  2. Candles
  3. Burt’s Bees products
  4. Lotion
  5. Perfume
  6. Essential oils
  7. Gift cards
  8. Chocolates
  9. Games
  10. Sampler size alcohol
  11. Small bottle of wine
  12. Fancy soap
  13. Body scrubber
  14. Face mask (eye cover)
  15. Heat/cool socks
  16. Hot tea/cocoa/coffee
  17. Wine cork candles
  18. Chopsticks
  19. Battery checker
  20. Charging key chain
  21. Spool for earphones
  22. Pumice stone
  23. Beaded book mark
  24. Camera memory card
  25. Nice pen
  26. Bento box
  27. Cell charger
  28. Ear warmers
  29. Movie tickets

Ideas for Men

  1. Money clip
  2. Ice scraper
  3.  Multi-tool
  4. Book
  5. Playing cards
  6. Cork screw
  7. Pocket kite
  8. Shot glasses
  9. Travel alarm
  10. Games
  11. Bartender’s Guide
  12. Flash drive
  13. Universal remote
  14. Mints
  15. Cookies/candy
  16. Ear buds
  17. Computer mouse
  18. Soap (“manly”)
  19. Knit cap
  20. Silly toys
  21. Lip balm
  22. Team can/bottle cozy
  23. Lottery tickets
  24. Handheld electronics
  25. Tire gauge
  26. Magazine subscription
  27. Novelty ice trays
  28. Throwback T-shirt
  29. Keychain screw driver
  30. Glasses repair kit

 

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Really Useful, Amusing, or Just Generally Interesting Links for April 2012

Here are a few that I stumbled upon in my computer time:

  1. http://www.timetoplaymag.com/holiday/easter/2012/.   This specific article had some good ideas and suggestions for items for an easter basket that are not candy, some for toys I haven’t even seen (not that that means much, I don’t go out shopping much these days.  Amazon is my friend!)  As for the rest of the site – there are video game reviews, toy reviews, movie reviews and so forth.  It has a staff of editors, web folks, and a sales group.  It is definitely worth taking a look at.
  2. http://blogs.babble.com/family-style/2012/03/22/10-candy-free-easter-basket-alternatives/.  This is a short list of non-candy ideas and even has a recipe for dough for kids to play with included (as a link).  You can make some of these items yourself, saving some money or at least adding a special touch to the gift.   One idea I loved was uploading personal pictures to a website that will make stickers out of them – then you can provide a sticker book to go with them.  I know my son loves stickers so this would be great for him.  I have to say, babble.com looks like a fun site overall for parents.  It has sections for various stages of parenthood/childhood, Mom, Dad, blogs and more.
  3. http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/.  This looks like a fantastic site – it is fairly easy to guess what it is all about from the title.  However, there is more to it than the sections of crafts for various seasons/holidays.  There is a section of kids crafts, links to favorite sites, and a “crafts for all seasons” shop.  This is definitely worth browsing for ideas, inspiration, and even tips and techniques.
  4. http://www.craftsolutions.-com/index.asp.  This is another great site – great for ideas, patterns, news, and articles.  They are also on Facebook and Twitter, in case you need other ways to contact them or interact.  The pattern section in particular is a very nice gathering of craft patterns from many sources.  I love this site and will definitely be going back when I have more time.
  5. http://www.squidoo.com/Craft-Ideas-for-Adults-Arts-Crafts-Supplies.  This link is actually a list of links to project ideas from different authors on Squidoo.  It is a fantastic list and I definitely want to spend more time looking at each link in more detail.  I haven’t looked at Squidoo before (which may mean I don’t get out much, or online much, I’m not sure ) but it looks like an interesting community as well.  If a page on Squidoo does well, and they are each by an individual author, it earns royalties for the author or for a charity.  It is an interesting idea – enabling authors to organize their interests, their passions, online and share them with others.
  6. http://www.treehugger.com/.  This is fantastic and huge.  There are newsletters, videos, recipes, a blog, radio interviews, and so much more.  It is an incredible source of “green” news of all sorts, as well as so much more.  There are sections on design, technology, living, transportation, and energy, among others.  I read articles on America’s Best, an Indian man planting a forest by himself, and a recipe for sangria.   Definitely an interesting website.
  7. http://www.amoeba.com/ – very interesting site for music.  They list live shows, store locations (there are three, in California), and movies and news/contests, as well as Amoeba gear.  They also say that it is always free shipping on music and movies.  There is also a section on thinking green – they are doing their part by supporting various “green” groups and by raising funds.  There is a list of tips for living more environmentally aware.  Check it out – looks like an interesting site for music, a bit off of the beaten path.
  8. http://www.powells.com/.  Ok, ok.  I know that PLENTY of people are aware of Powells, so this link really does show my East Coast (of the US) bias I’m afraid.  I was originally told about Powells by a wonderful friend from Oregon who swears by them.  She has been on the East Coast for over a decade – possibly closer to two by now – and still swears this is the best place to go for books.  What more can I say?  They have a newsletter, a book club from the looks of it, and the normal sections to browse through.  I like the selection, and I like the fact that there is free shipping for orders over $50, though my wallet may not appreciate it.
  9. http://www.pandora.com/.  Pandora radio is also new to me.  It is a fascinating idea – you type the name of your favorite artist or your favorite genre of music into it, and it goes through its entire collection, putting together a collection of similar works/music for you, creating a “channel.”  You can have up to 100 channels.  I entered Queen as a trial.  “We Are the Champions” started playing and the lyrics appeared underneath an album cover.  There was a blurb of information about the group followed by a short list of similar groups.  I like it.
  10. http://www.fedspending.org/.  I was looking for sources of information on government spending, voting, candidates and the like and I found FedSpending.org and VoteSmart.  Another source of information listed by FedSpending is http://www.usaspending.gov/.  All three are worth taking a look at, if you want to make yourself more aware of how the government spends, as well as the candidates.
  11. http://www.votesmart.org/
  12. http://www.opencongress.org/.    This has a great deal of information and is  non-partisan.  Here is a link for “how to use Open Congress“.  I really think that more people need to take a closer look at how their politicians, of EITHER party, are behaving, voting, and so forth.  It really doesn’t take that much effort to find information, look through it, and try to make better decisions.
  13. http://www.scribd.com/.  This is a fantastic site and can lead to a LOT of time browsing and reading and getting off track/topic .  I looked at recipes, how-to guides, and more.  So many categories to browse through, so little time.  One that I looked at had a list of links for more by the author, a beautiful and colorful “cover”, ways to embed and copy the link, and ways to like on Facebook, Google+ and more.
  14. http://www.dipity.com/.    Dipity is an interesting site, though I know not everyone will agree.  You can create an online timeline.  There is a timeline, flip book, map, and list for each timeline, apparently.  I took a look at Thomas Kinkade’s timeline just as a sample, and the list consisted of links to articles concerning him, including recent ones regarding an autopsy  that will be performed.  The flip book showed pictures which also were linked to articles that mentioned Thomas Kinkade.
  15. http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/sharedcopy-lets-bookmark-annotate-websites-style/
  16. http://thisisphotobomb.memebase.com/
  17. http://www.tempe.gov/youthlibrary/preschool/preschweb.htm.  This is a fantastic list of websites for preschoolers from the Youth Library in Tempe, AZ.
  18. http://www.widgetbox.com/.  Widgets for websites – you can create your own or use others that are on the site.  Good for blogs, you can find things like weather widgets, virtual pets, games, and countdowns.  Just a fun site to look through!
  19. http://www.coolestgizmo.com/.  Great source for amusing gift ideas – like the self-stirring mug for those too busy (or lazy!) to stir their own coffee.  Another cute item: glow in the dark toilet paper…I never claimed these things were incredibly necessary for a full and happy life but they did make me smile.  But I MUST have the remote-controlled shark…wow!  Go check it out – the site is really great – one downside is that they don’t necessarily have links to the companies that actually sell these items (i.e., the remote-controlled shark…sigh.)
  20. http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/bored.htm.  Great list of boredom busters and rainy day activities.  Not huge, but worth a look, if you’re like me and run out of inspiration after a while!

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Finish each day…

Finish every day and be done with it.

You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities

no doubt have crept in;

forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day;

begin it well and serenely

and with too high a spirit

to be cumbered with

your old nonsense.

This day is all that is

good and fair.

It is too dear,

with its hopes and invitations,

to waste a moment on yesterdays.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What a great reminder to let go of mistakes, not to dwell on problems that are  minor but frequently seem like major mountains in the moment.  Who doesn’t need to remember this at times?

I posted this at work because I have a tendency to really obsess about mistakes I make at work.  Well, you know, I work in a bankruptcy department working with data.  To be honest, if I make a mistake (which I will, being human and all), nothing truly life-threatening will happen.  This isn’t to say that I need to NOT make mistakes, but it does mean that I need to not stress so MUCH about the mistakes I make.  I try to learn from the mistakes I make, so that in the future I won’t make the SAME mistakes over and over.    But this is a good reminder that we should all let it go.  Let go of the silly things, the irritating things that happened over the course of the day.

Tomorrow is a blank slate, a fresh beginning.  Take what you learned yesterday….and run with it.  🙂

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October 2010 – Interesting or Useful Websites

Ok this month, I can’t say the sites are exactly USEFUL or exciting, but hey, they are thematic!  That counts for something, doesn’t it.  Actually, they do provide some interesting alternatives to common issues: sweets for children, for example.  And if you like history, I found some interesting history-related sites.  So…here are this month’s websites:

  • October Celebrations
    • National Arts & Humanities Month – the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the United States.  It was established in 1993, to encourage Americans to explore arts and humanities.  Here is President Obama’s Presidential Proclamation.
    • Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  The Domestic Violence Awareness Project (DVAP) is now a diverse partnership of “local, tribal, state and national domestic violence organizations and networks.”  They work toward collecting, developing, and distributing resources necessary to continue educating the public and working toward prevention of domestic violence. This website is such a wonderful source of information; they have a section for campaigns, about the network/partnership, materials that are available, video resources, and links.  Of course the provide a number for people in trouble to call – as well as a way to contact them.  Please take a look at this site – it may help you or someone you know.
    • Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  There are a lot of sites with helpful information on breast cancer.  One important thing to remember – that frequently gets overlooked – is that men can have breast cancer too.  Everyone needs to pay attention to this disease; the best way to fight it is to detect it early.  The National Breast Cancer site above is a wonderful source of information and there is a lot to learn.  For example, I had no idea there were so many different types of breast cancer.  There are FAQs, a list of myths, and a description of stages and types.  In addition, they have pages on ways to help, communities, and a blog.  There is also a newsletter.  Please go take a look – I bet you’ll learn something like I did.
  • Historic Events
    • Smithsonian Magazine has a wonderful section on This Month In History but the whole site is interesting.  You can spend quite a bit of time perusing it.   It has sections like:
      • History and Archaeology
      • People and Places
      • Science and Nature
      • Videos
      • Games and Puzzles
    • Another good site is BrainyHistory.  It lists events that took place on this day in history, birthdays, events by year and by month!  Apparently you can also add “Today in History” or “Today’s Birthdays” to your own site, but I couldn’t actually do that since I don’t have a site at this point!
    • On This Day is an interesting site as well.   It has Famous Birthdays, Today in History, Today in Music History, as well as many other sections that are pretty specific:
      • TV History
      • Middle East
      • World War II
      • U.S. Civil War
      • Sports sections
      • There is also a section for recommended books.
  • Halloween
    • Costume ideas
      • Costume Idea Zone.  This looks like an interesting site.  There are some cute ideas right on the home page and then there are different sections: unique costume ideas, couples, groups, traditional, and quick and easy. There is a section for advice and inspiration and tips.  I will say I got a pop-up as soon as checked out the site.
      • What better place to start than Halloween.com?  They have it all – forums, chat, screensavers, crafts, masks, stories, and so on.  This also includes cute last-minute ideas.  I really enjoyed checking this site out.  There is even a section on Halloween News.  Lots to see!
    • Traditions
      • A good site is Religious Tolerance.  Their page on Halloween traditions include Celtic traditions, traditions developed since then, origins of Christian holy days, traditions in numerous countries.
      • History.com has a good Halloween section as well.  There are videos, a photo gallery, and some interactive things.  There are links to related articles like pumpkin facts, and Halloween Around the World, as well as Haunted Historic Places.  The rest of the site is excellent as well, for history buffs.
    • Alternatives – Here are some links that I found for alternatives to Halloween for those who choose not to participate in Halloween:
      • Christian Alternatives.
      • Thrifty Fun has some interesting ideas, particularly if you want to do something a little more educational.  Their Halloween Alternatives article is here.  The rest of the site is interesting as well.  There seem to be tips, pets, requests for help, contests and more!
      • Here is an interesting article on alternatives to all the sweets for Halloween.
      • Modern Mom has an article on party favors that are less sugary or not candy.
      • Family Education has a short article on 10 alternatives to candy that I know my 5-year-old would love.  I will say that I got an advertisement every two pages or so, just as a heads-up to anyone who goes to check out the site.

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April 2010 Really Useful (Or Amusing) Websites

Disclaimer:  some of these sites are actually professional sites, offering things to purchase (services, etc) and I am not affiliated in any way with any of them.  If I have referred to a site like that, it is simply because I found information on their site helpful or interesting, not because I have used their services – unless I specifically say that I have.

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Really Useful Websites (March 2009)

This month’s websites are a hodgepodge (as if other months’ were not).  I simply found sites that I thought had good or helpful information on a variety of topics.  There is no real method or theme for this collection.

First of all, I wanted more information this month on economic topics, such as recessions and depressions.  On those subjects, I recommend the following articles:

Then I decided I wanted more information on what sort of help is out there for people who are struggling for one reason or another.  (Gee, I wish I had had this thought some time back – I found a lot of helpful information.  I think I was too depressed to go looking for it at the time.)

  • www.virginia.gov – Ok, this is my state, so that’s where I started.  I had no idea some of these services existed.  There are sections on the site for citizens, students, and employees.  Under citizens, there is a section for community services.  My guess is that many if not all states have something along these lines.  These include:
    • 2-1-1 VIRGINIA:  provides easy access to information and referrals on child care, energy assistance, financial assistance and more.
    • Child care database:  you can search for licensed day care in your area.
    • Virginia Communities – a database of local resources.
  • For Minnasoteans (?), Minnasotahelp.info seems to have a wealth of information and resources listed or linked.

While looking the above mentioned sites up, I found sites that were odd, really amusing, or just caught my eye.  I’ve included a sampling for kicks and giggles…

  • Callinsick – well, the name really says it all.  From the site:  “Sick notes – provided.  Fake prescriptions – provided.  Tutorials for faking sick – provided!”  🙂
  • Sickday Excuse Generator – well, once I saw the first one, I decided to see what else was out there!  Good for a laugh!
  • Economic Assistance For Struggling Families Varies Widely
  • I Work With Fools – well, I don’t personally work with fools at the moment, but I certainly HAVE.  It looks like this site is no longer being updated, but it is entertaining nonetheless.

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Really Useful Websites (February 2009)

  • Presidential trivia in time for Presidents’ Day

o Kaboose.com – Presidents’ Day 2009 – I highly recommend taking a look at this site in general, but I found their information on Presidents’ Day, with activities for children, particularly appealing.  There are tabs for crafts, activities, printables, and “All about the Presidents”.

o Snopes – Presidents Day – now here is an interesting article on Presidents’ Day and all of the confusion surrounding the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln.

o Presidents USA – this is quite a collection of links to sites related to the presidents of the United States.  Some are better than others, but I think it is worth taking a little while to look around.

  • Romantic Gift Ideas

o Lovingyou – Need I say more than the name of the site?  There are “every day romance” ideas and gift ideas as well.  There are sections for Date Night, Romantic Travel, and Recipes for Two, and much more.  Well worth some time looking around.

o Romantic Gift Ideas – This site has sections for Date Night, Bedroom, Breakfast Recipes, Dinner Ideas, and Games, among others.  I found interesting ideas on making a bedroom a more romantic place, as well as some good romantic ideas.  I also like the fact that viewers can share stories – that is frequently a great source of inspiration!

  • Humor Sites (or humorous sites!)

o Roadside America – Ok, what’s not to like about this site?  If you are looking for oddities to go see, THIS is the site for you!  If you are looking for an offbeat vacation destination, what better place to start?  There are tips, visitor tips, maps, and a section on hotels as well!  Go browse!  There are even themes, including – and I shudder at the thought – two-story outhouses!

o Southern Humorists – I admit it…I’m a Southerner, so I might be JUST a WEE bit biased on this one, but I enjoyed browsing around this site.  It certainly provides enough material to fill the brief breaks I’m able to take on the computer for quite a while!

  • Black History Sites:  the sites or pages below contained a variety of information that I found useful and interesting.  I’m not claiming that I’m posting anything anyone couldn’t find easily – but I’m posting sites that I felt were well-done.  If anyone reading this has other suggestions, I welcome additions to the list via comments!

o About.com – African-American History

o Biography.com – 101 Facts about African American History

o History.com – Black History Facts

o Black Inventor Online Museum – a wealth of information!

  • Miscellaneous

o Mental Floss – stimulating! I look forward to a subscription in the near future!  (Well, I’m working on it – gotta find the time to read!)

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