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Gift Guide

Young Future Writers Need To Read and Study These Books to Hone Their Skills

Do you have a child in your life who has already expressed interest in writing?

Short stories, scripts, YouTube or TikTok skits, books, plays?

A great way to stimulate their brains is to have then read great books to study the writing style of authors and from reading their body of work.

By reading various prose by authors that target their age group, your future writer may come to understand how each writer holds the reader’s attention.

It should help a budding author create his or her own voice.

If you like this list, put together by Epic!, you can get a book subscription for $7.99 per month from epic! and get access to 1,000s of books each month to read and return at your reader’s leisure. It’s a cost saving alternative to buying all of these books outright.

But if you would like to build a dictionary, you can click below to purchase them as a gift or check out at your local library for FREE when they open back up or use online versions!!

1. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York Jonathan York leads a boring life. But when fate leaves him stranded in a sinister land, he finds himself seeking an adventure of his own. ($9.29)

2. Casebusters: The House Has Eyes The new kid in school has a poltergeist problem, and only the Casebusters can help. ($3.75 Kindle)

3. Otto Carrotto Everyone is crazy about something. For Otto, it’s carrots. He can’t get enough. Raw carrots, cooked carrots, carrot soup and carrot pizza. ($6.00)

4. Creepy But Cool: Bats Kids love Bats! Bats have always been mysterious and they have always scared people.

5.  No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) Learn all about fire safety with the help of a girl and her dragon friend. ($7.95)

6. The Book of Dragons 20 delightful tales from Germany, China, France, Wales, England, Japan, and other lands tell of dragons fierce, friendly, and loving. ($4.75)

7. Explore And Draw: Wizards, Witches, & Dragons Learn basic art techniques and interesting facts while drawing wizards, witches, and dragons. ($5.75)

8. I Love You Just Enough While pulling weeds and planting seeds with her dad on Hazel Ridge Farm’s prairie, Heather discovers a wood duckling alone in the grass. ($12.75)

9.  A Horse to Love Erin is thrilled when her parents agree to buy her a horse–but owning a horse is nothing like she imagined… ($11.26 Kindle)

10.  Dear Dad, Love Laurie After her parents’ divorce, Laurie’s mom forces her to write to her father. With every one, Laurie finds herself growing up a little bit more. ($7.39 Kindle)

11.  Jasper John Dooley Not in Love Isabel loves Jasper, and it’s making life complicated. ($7.95)

12. We Love Horses Horses have been adored for centuries, and this volume of poetry brings the graceful steed to the page. ($7.18)

13. Can I Bring My Pterodactyl to School, Ms. Johnson? A boy asks his teacher if he can bring his pterodactyl to school, imagining all the ways it could help him and his class. ($7.95)

14.  First Day Jitters Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn’t want to start over at a new school. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. ($4.99)

15.  The Big Test As her students grow increasingly anxious about the Big Test, Mrs. Hartwell must teach the most valuable test-taking skill of all. ($6.95)

Top Athleisure Brands to Live, Play and Work Out In

Because businesses are closed and will be for a while, women are finding themselves living in their leisure wear.  After a while, it may be time to switch it up and splurge and get something new.

Hey, the grocery store clerk deserves to see the best you!

Here is a rundown of some of the top athleisure wear brands:

ADAY

ADAY adopts a ‘less-is-more’ approach and a design ethos based on seasonless pieces and sustainability to offer everyday, athleisure-inspired clothes that are both performance-driven and stylish.

Every ADAY piece of clothing features novel technical material properties (sweat-wicking, quick-drying, UV- and chlorine-protected and wrinkle-free).

Tory Sport is the performance luxury activewear for women by Tory Burch

ALALA

Alala is a super trendy New York City-inspired luxury activewear brand.

IVY PARK

 

Beyoncé’ Ivy Park offers high-fashion meets high-tech performance wear. The collection of activewear is effortlessly cool and includes everything from sports bras to leggings, crop and oversized sweatshirts, bodysuits and more. She recently partnered with Adidas on a collection. SHOP THE BRAND

ATHLETA

Athleta (by Gap) The Gap-owned fitness brand Athleta offers stylish athleisure wear for women and girls for a variety of activities including yoga, running, swimming, and hiking.

FABLETICS

Kate Hudson’s fitness fashion brand Fabletics features a collection of comfortable workout and athleisure clothing. This American retailer sells sportswear, footwear and accessories.

IVL COLLECTIVE

The Ivory Lane Collective, or IVL Collective for short, is fastly becoming a leader in women’s athleisure wear. Their activewear collection includes everything from cute leggings to tanks, tees, and jackets.

NIKE

One of the most successful and recognisable sportswear brands in the world, Nike offers everything from quality shorts and t-shirts to shoes and socks that are both fashionable and functional. The brand also sells a lot of high-quality gym gear for your home.

UNDER ARMOUR

Under Armour The American sportswear label Under Armour launched in 2016 Under Armour Sportswear (UAS), a premium athleisure range designed by Belgian designer Tim Coppens. UAS fuses high-performance sportswear designs with an elevated sartorial touch. They have really cute and sexy gym clothes on their website.  SHOP THE BRAND

FP MOVEMENT BY FREE PEOPLE

FP Movement is Free People’s active fashion line which triumphs both bohemian chic style and function. FP Movement by Free People

ADIDAS

Adidas is a sportswear powerhouse that combines quality and style to create modern, street-savvy active wear. The active wear brand’s signature three-stripe motif has gained iconic status in popular culture. (Image source)

No matter which you choose, have it your way!

h./t Luxe Digital

Get this Sports Girl Under Armour Look for Under $100!

My family is an Under Armour family.

My boys attend a college prep school that has a reputation for excelling in academics, music and especially sports. They swim, and compete with the cross country and outdoor track teams and wear Under Armour uniforms.

That’s why I was excited to join as an affiliate partner with the brand and today, I would like to tell you that you US and Canadian customers can get an additional 25% off any order of $100 or more using the code Fit25 at check out.

That means you can cop this entire UA outfit my daughter wor her soccer skills e tocamp this week for $100!  While the exact half zip top UA Tech long sleeve shirt isn’t available, a similar style, in a different design is for just $25.99. 

It comes in grey with an orange sleeve and logo or black with white stripe along the sleeve and logo. Add it to your cart. 

Nab a pair of cold gear black jeggings for winter weather wear, made of dual-layer fabric with material that wicks sweat and dries super fast. There is an anti-odor tech that prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes. These pants have an extra wide waistband, inspired by yoga pants and sits right on her hips

Get a pair for $31.99  It comes in youth sizes 7 to 16 and you can get them in black with pitch grey light heather stripe down the side.

While she isn’t wearing UA sneakers in this photo. (her brothers own them), in order to get the 25% off discount, you need to check out $100 worth of items. Pick up a pair of UA Bandit shoes that usually cost $65 for just $48.99

Add them to your cart to get the discount! Don’t forget to enter the code FIT5 at check out for the discount to apply.

 

7 Things To Get With Your Amazon Gift Card

It’s time to use those gift cards you got for Christmas!  Since 2005, some $45.7 billion has been floating around in unused gift card balances, according to Finder!

We can guess why. Life is Busy. We are Forgetful.  Don’t join the statistic! Avoid hesitating on spending your gift card!

I recommend you get on Amazon and quickly order something you would ordinarily NOT get for yourself!

It is an excellent excuse to gift yourself something novel, fun, quirky or just different.

Here are 7 items I’ve seen, purchased, used and looked up to see if they sell them on Amazon and they do! Sweet!

1. Game on!– Get nostalgic and play some of your fave Atari 6400 games you played as a kid with your own kids! We love Blast’s vintage “Plug and Play” video game that comes with a wireless controller and features 8-20 classic video game titles like Centipede, Millipede, Yar’s Revenge, Asteroids, Missile Command, Pitfall, River Raid, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug. We picked one up at Target for like $25.00 on sale. Online it’s at Amazon.com for just $18! My husband and I played for hours with our kids on Christmas Eve! So fun!!! Thanks AtGames for gifting us a controller as well!

2. Coffee Lovers – I have been eyeing KRUPS’  Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder for a while now and it’s down to $15! Perfect price point for this best selling press machine for coffee aficionados like myself! It makes 3 ounces worth of  yummy goodness in about 10 seconds! Love mine! I got one for Christmas and I’m hoping it saves me money on Starbucks! Oy vey! LOL!!

3. Wine On – Ever since I won a wine tumbler in an Instagram contest, I’ve not stopped using mine. Not sure if to laugh or cry about that! ha! If you have an Amazon gift card, you can pick one up for under $20!  It’s my go to at the end of a trying week!

4. Future seekers – Going in 2019, a lot of people have big dreams and hopes of making the next year better than the last. I’m a fan of astrology and birth order and the zodiac and I can say emphatically that I got my kickstart going thoroughly through the pages of Mecca Woods‘ book “Astrology for Happiness and Success!” ($10.39)  I not only perused Woods’ very practical tips, delivered in a casual conversational tone for my sign, Virgo, I did for my children’s and husband’s as well. I found the career and wellness guidance extremely relevant and they appear so personalized to me! The book is wonderfully sectioned and organized making it a super easy read! You can pass it on to your mom, sister, bestie when done! Get it!

5. Ski down – It’s the season for hitting the slopes and a new pair of over the glasses ski goggles would be a great gift to give yourself this winter! These are just $18 on Amazon! It gets good reviews, fits with your helmet and fog resistant! Looks like a winner! I think I’ll get the purple ones!

6. Well Read – For the design and/or book lover, this exquisite reading lamp I peeped a teen using while sitting and reading books in Barnes and Noble over the holiday caught my eye. It is pretty, sleek and super portable. I asked her if she got it in the bookstore and she told me  no, Amazon! For just $15!!! I just ordered one!

7. Wild Animal – Signal your love of your pet dog or cat with these adorable fridge magnets! I saw these on my girlfriend’s fridge a few months ago! I thought they were so cute and they’re only about $10 for a set on Amazon!

Have fun shopping for stuff you know you may not ordinarily get for yourself!

10 Christmas Gift to Read To Your Child This Year

Christmas is a magical time of year for both kids and adults alike. The kids are out of school, the holiday cheer keeps everyone in high spirits, and spending time together as a family is at the top of everyone’s priority list. One hallmark of the Christmas season is the wide variety of Christmas stories, both new and old, that you can tell your child.
Twas the Night Before Christmas  This story is actually a poem that was written in 1823 by Clement Clarke Moore.  The poem was the first of its kind to describe Santa and his sleigh, and contributed largely to how people picture Santa today.  Moore wrote this poem for his children, but it was later published in the newspaper and was so popular that it was reprinted year after year. GET IT AT AMAZON
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas – Dr. Seuss is at it again, this time with a rather surly furry green character who hates Christmas.  The Grinch is sick of everyone being so cheerful at Christmastime that he decides he’s going to steal Christmas.  However, the kindness shown to him by one little girl melts his heart, and he ends up giving everything back while learning the true meaning of Christmas. GET IT AT AMAZON
A Christmas Carol – A classic story written by Charles Dickens, this Christmas tale talks about a crabby old man named Scrooge who is a penny-pinching, miserable man.  He is estranged from his own family and treats his workers terribly.  Scrooge is visited by three ghosts one night who show him what Christmas really means.  The story ends when he wakes up on Christmas morning, just in time to make amends.  This one is best watched! STREAM IT FREE Via AMAZON PRIME
The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg writes a story about a boy who isn’t quite sure if Santa is real or not.  He boards a train that appears in his backyard one night and is swept away on the adventure of a lifetime to the North Pole.  While there, he meets elves and ghosts who convince him that Santa really does exist, and when ends up back at home it’s with a firm belief in Santa again. GET IT AT AMAZON
Christmas in the Big Woods – One of many Laura Ingalls Wilder books, this one tells the story of Laura’s life during Christmas in their home in the big woods of Wisconsin.  This book is an excellent choice for very young children. GET IT AT AMAZON
The Gift of the Magi – This story is about a couple who has very little money, but still want to give each other a Christmas gift.  The woman has long beautiful hair, and it’s the thing she is most proud of.  Her husband has a pocket watch that belonged to his grandfather, and he loves this family heirloom.  The wife decides to sell her hair to buy her husband a chain for his pocket watch and the husband sells his pocket watch to buy combs for his wife’s beautiful hair.  The story is compared to the magi that brought gifts to the newborn king. GET IT AT AMAZON
Christmas in Camelot – A Magic Tree House book by Mary Pope Osborne.  Jack and Annie travel to Camelot in the magic tree house to find a cup, a key and a compass in order to save Camelot from the evil wizard Mordred.  The kids prove to the king that kids can be useful. GET IT AT AMAZON
Meet Santa Bear – As in most books by Stan and Jan Berenstain, there is a lesson to be learned in this book.  Although, in this book, the lesson is really more about getting answers to difficult questions, like “how does Santa get down a skinny chimney?” or “how does the sleigh land without snow on the ground?”  These questions, and others, are answered in this Berenstain Bear book. GET IT AT AMAZON
The Year Without a Santa Claus – The author, Phyllis McGinley, pens this story about the year Santa decides to take the year off because he doesn’t think anyone believes in him anymore.  He leaves two elves in charge and they make a mess of things.  Heat Miser and Cold Miser make their debut in this book and subsequent cartoon.  Santa comes to the rescue and realizes that there are some believers left and changes his mind. GET IT AT AMAZON
The Christmas Sweater – Glenn Beck writes this story, which contains some autobiographical elements.  The main character is young Eddie, who wants a new bike for Christmas with all of his heart.  He knows his mom can’t afford it, but he wants it anyway.  Christmas day comes and he gets a sweater that his mom made herself and he is so bitter and disappointed that he throws the sweater in the corner and leaves it.  He goes through a rough patch and finally gets some mentoring from a neighbor named Russell who helps him understand what a great gift the sweater really is. GET IT AT AMAZON One way to really get into the Christmas spirit is to curl up by the fire with your kids, hot cocoa in hand, and read them one of these 10 popular Christmas stories: If you don’t have some of these books and you’d like to read them, make a trip to your local library and pick one or more of them up.  These books would all make great gifts for the children in your life as well.

Shop For Your Student Athlete {Guarantee Delivery By Christmas}

This post contains some affiliate links. If you click thru and purchase any of the products I suggested, I will earn a small commission from referring the sale to the brand. 

I know I promised to just do one gift guide this year but since I also re boosted my mom-to-be guide and posh parent gift guide from last year, I thought I should update my fitness gift guide for kid athletes this year.

I polled some friends on Facebook and asked them what their kid wanted for their sport for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and generally, for the holiday season and beyond.

I then conducted some online and in store research and came up with the following list of 13 items.

ALL athletes

1 Noise cancelling headphones:  First, for all athletes, in between events, traveling to away games or for just tuning out the distractions and noise, there is noise cancelling headphones to help them get in the right mind set to compete. Now these headphones can get pretty pricey  so I would only recommend getting the higher end on the list for the very responsible kid who isn’t going to leave it around carelessly, on the floor by the pool where it can get wet or damaged or forget it out in the open on the field in a public park.

The best out there, which is going for the lowest price right now per my research, is Sony’s WH-1000XM3. It is on par with Bose’s, the gold standard in home audio equipment. It’s $278 right now on Amazon and the cheapest you will ever see them this year.

Now if that is out of your budget, Wired magazine says best of the lower cost headphones is TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling headphones which is just about $49.99 and has 45 hours of battery life and it pretty light weight. Get it at Amazon.

2. A Sports Back pack:  Student athletes got a lot of gear, uniform and sport-related equipment they have to lug to school, to practice and to games, meets, tournaments and competitions.  They need a back with a lot of compartments internal and external so they can organize all their stuff. The UA Hustle 4.0 Backpack is the ultimate back pack for any student athlete. It has a front pocket for shoes and lots of interior pockets to separate all the gear and keep the soiled stuff separate from the clean. The side pockets can hold large 24 ounce bottles of water or recyclable water bottles. It’s light weight and sturdy for a sports bag only. Don’t have it double as a school backpack.  This backpack is usually $55 but is down to $40 for the holidays. I’m getting three: one for my soccer player daughter, my track and field middle kid and my cross country eldest kid. That’s three sports.

You can personalize it and add your kid’s sport or name to it too!

BONUS: All athletes need training apparel and there is no need to break the bank stocking up on them. Hit the overstock stores like TJMaxx, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls and Ross to get some after market deals.

Alternatively, all of the major brands have Factory Stores that are also online if you want to avoid the crowds or do not have one near you.

Nike Factory Outlet has sales going on now.

Adidas – Free shipping on Orders over $49 and Use Code 20EXTRA for extra

UnderArmour- Take an Extra $30 off all orders over $100

New Balance has free shipping on orders over $50

Puma – Use code Extra10 for an additional 10% off items and there is a sale of up to 50% off

Reebok – Take an Extra 55% off select items including sale ones.

Umbro– Get on it! Save 25% when you spent $75. Tomorrow is the last day to ship for Christmas delivery!

Cross Country/Cold-Weather Training

3. Athletic Outdoor Training  Shirt: For your Cross Country or Outdoor Track kid (or for any kid who engages in a winter or cold weather sport),  Nike has its Sphere Element Running long sleeve shirt with thumb cut out to keep the hands warm and made of the company’s patented Nike® Therma fabric which offers lightweight insulation and warmth, while keeping sweat off the skin via the Dri-FIT® technology..

The shirt is a steal at $50, down from $70 at Dick’s right now.

Today only, you can spend $100 worth of gear and pay just $80 at DICK’s

4. Running Shoes: For running, there are many brands that offer superior quality shoes.  My two sons’ high school is sponsored by Under Armour and we have had success for three years in the HOVR Infinite  which lasts an entire season of training runs and meets. Don’t just take my word for it. The HOVR won Runner’s World Magazine’s recommended running shoe recognition this year! The best tech in the shoe is the  ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step. It’s a good shoe overall and has great reviews.

The shoe costs $120 but if you purchase it for the holidays you can get it for $30 at the UA website off if you use the code FRIENDS30 at checkout!

You can still have it delivered by Christmas if you order it up to this weekend!

5. Training Compression Pants: For training runs in the cold, the UA  Qualifier Compression Tights works best! It’s made of compression material and made to feel like second skin.  The pants comes with a pocket large enough to fit a big mobile phone like a Samsung Galaxy or iPhone X or Plus size. It has the traditional wicking material which keeps sweat off your skin and dries what accumulates fast as you run. The best is the anti-odor tech that staves off the growth of funky odor causing microbes. It’s the best and a steal at just $65 compared to more expensive running pants that I’ve seen out there sold by other athletic brands! Gift these to your XC Runner or other sports trainer who runs outdoors in the cold weather!

Basketball Player

You’d think every student basketball player athlete would want an official Spalding NBA Basketball and a portable backboard to practice at home with. Yes, those too, but the serious ones are thinking ahead.

6. Agility Ladder: Per the experts, an agility ladder like the SKLZ ladder is a great tool for ambitious basketball players who want to improve their footwork and coordination. It’s just $25.49 on Amazon and can be delivered well before Christmas if you order soon!

7. Shooting Sleeve: Throw in a Nike Pro Combat Elite Shooting sleeve for $19.90 and your aspiring basketball NBA or WNBA star will be one happy kid!

Swimming

8. Swimming Goggles: All of my three kids swim, in the Summer rec league and one year round for a club and for his school so we are always in the market for swimming gear.  Goggles are always in demand and  Speedo’s MDR 2.4 googles delivers performance with its Innovative Elastomeric™ technology  which reduces goggle pressure against your kid’s face and Clearsight lenses eliminates distortion for a clearer view without eye fatigue.  These goggles also offer a middle eye fit with liquid silicone seals and an adjustable strap and is just $24.99 at Dick’s 

9. Flippers: Or get em a pair of Floti’s flippers with an extra long blade to emphasize the kick, a flexible foot pocket with ankle support and easy on and off functionality on sale at Swim Outlet for just $19.99, which is 23% off the regular price, and just $15.99 if you used the code GIFT25 at checkout!

Gymnast

10. Balance Beam: For your gymnast, there is still time to get an FBSPORT floorbeam from Amazon in time for Christmas. This adjustable and foldable portable beam has a 5-inch to which is the same width as those used in competitions but has a 6 inch base to stabilize it so it won’t topple over.  Per the manufacturers, it’s made of “high density EVA foam, our padded beam is covered in suede-like material with a nonslip rubber bottom for a soft sturdy practice surface that won’t flatten over time.” Get it for $59.99 today!

Lacrosse

11. Rebounder: To help your lacrosse player hone his or her passing and catching skills, a lacrosse rebounder is a great gift for a goalie, offensive player or for team practice drills to increase your kid’s reaction skills. Dick’s has an exclusive deal for the PRIMED rebounder for $129.99 right now. It can also be picked up if it is available at a Dick’s near you.

But if that price point is not in the budget,  Champion Sports sells one for half the price at $59.99 on Amazon. Both can be ordered and delivered before Christmas.

Soccer

12. Cleats Dryer: For the active soccer player who either plays in various travel teams, or year round rec leagues, a cleats dryer I hear is an in-demand item. Amazon Prime members can get Lavieair Shoe Dryer shipped for Free before Christmas for just  $36.99. 

If you are not an Amazon Prime member, it’s free to join! Sign up here for 30 Days FREE!

Tennis

13. Nike Workout Gear: Nike’s Court line has these popular hoodies for after play starting at $60.  It’s made of French Terry cloth and has a boxy shape that makes it unisex though Nike sells a female and male version of the hoodie! It comes in other colors than the traditional Tennis white and you can still get it in time for Christmas!

Gifts for That Mom-To-Be on Your Christmas List

This gift guide for expecting moms is still current and good to use as a reference as you do some last minute holiday shopping for the mom-to-be on your list:

1.Letters to My Baby: Write Now. Read Later. Treasure Forever ($11)

Fill these twelve envelopes with memories and hopes for your bundle of joy. Then postdate, seal, and save the letters to gift to your child at a later date. Such a sweet idea and concept!

2.Naipo Neck Massager ($34.99) I reviewed this earlier and found it to be the BEST thing since slice bread.  You can see the review here but I swear by this thing!

3.Tom’s Slippers in Birch Glow in the Dark Tree Lights ($59.99) You cannot go wrong with this warm and comfy slippers to ease an achy pregnant and constantly expanding feet!

4.The Bump Pregnancy Journal This photo album is filled with blank pages that moms can fill with sonogram photos, bump updates, and other baby mementos. Get it at Amazon for $22

5.Spa Gift Card Any expecting mom could use a massage, facial and some good old fashioned pampering while she waits for her bundle of joy ($25+)

6. Uggs Dakota Slippers ($99) For a slightly higher price point, an expecting mom would really appreciate these plush puppies from a known quality brand!

7. Leachco Snoogle Original Maternity/Pregnancy Total Body Pillow If you know how uncomfortable sleeping can be while pregnant, you’d know that this pillow is heaven sent! It allows you to position your body and belly, neck and back in a way most comfortable for a restful night’s sleep. Your expecting family member or friend will LOVE you for getting her this gift! Get it at Amazon for $59.99

8. At Home Spa Gift For moms on bed rest, an at home spa gift basket would be perfect. This basket from an Etsy shop includes belly butter, magnesium lotion, anti-nausea tea, and a bath soak. Nice!($45.99)

JJ’s Favorite Things {2019 Gift Guide}

This year, instead of producing 15 holiday guides with tips and suggestions of products I’ve learned about from others, marketing materials sent to me or from what social media says is the hottest “must-have” items, I’m publishing just one guide/list.

This list includes items that I have either 1) purchased or was gifted personally and I use and love; or I have researched and inspected and want on my personal “wish list”.

Therefore, followers and readers of this blog will get my authentic, genuine and unbiased perspective on what items I believe are great gifts!

naipo shiatsu massager

1

First up is this Naipo Shiatsu neck and upper back massager. The makers gifted this to me over a year ago to review and I must say it is the absolute best. My husband and I are still using it today and it has not malfunctioned and continues to provide almost daily relief to our achy necks and backs after a long day at work, sitting at a computer desk all day or after waking up from a restless night sleep. The massager cover is made of leather and has oscillating balls and three settings that deeply kneed into your muscles to break up knots, soothe aches and pains.

An expecting or new mom would absolutely love this as she experiences the aches and pains of carrying a baby and caring for a new born.

It’s $49.99 at Amazon.com with free shipping for Prime members.

I absolutely recommend this massager as a gift. Tell the recipient it came highly rated by me! They will love you for it

ABC 3d

2

Second, as a work at home mom blogger and solo-preneur who works from home, I am always on the go, covering events, shuttling my kids to sports, music activities, practices, meeting up with clients at coffee shops, blogging from cafes and lounges and local libraries and just hustling about.

Although my children are t/weens now, not long ago, I used to buy them toys and books for Christmas. I discover some at the library, book stores and am pitched several. My fave books for a baby or new mom are these 18 board books for Baby’s First Library

But if you want a book that is visually stunning, stimulating to a young brain and eye popping as a gift, I highly recommend the ABC 3D pop up book by French designer and artist Marion Bataille that I discovered while thrifting and vintage shopping one day. Each of the 26 three-dimensional letters move and change before your eyes.  SEE It for yourself up close in this YouTube Video!

You can buy it for just $10.55 on Amazon!

3

I have several stylish and colorful oversized bags that I chuck all my stuff, laptop, umbrella and other remote office stuff in before hitting the road, but I really need a deep sturdy laptop backpack instead.

I found the Incase Icon Pack in black online that I like because it has several compartments I can use to store an umbrella, pens, make up, my phone, a water bottle, and other items separately so I can find them in a pinch. I am otherwise always digging and rummaging around a big abyss when I need to find something.

I also like it because it looks sleek and has a sexy silhouette. Get it for $90 from Amazon.

This backpack would be much appreciated by the blogger, student, mom, dad or anyone in your family who need to stay organized and is always on the move.

4

When my son was being incubated in my belly during my first pregnancy, I played The Nutcraker Ballet’s “Dance of the Sugarplum Faeries” song regularly and when he was born, whenever he would fuss while in the back seat during travel, for example, he would immediately stop crying, cock his head towards the music and calm down. Music miraculously can calm, soothe and wire our babies brains for intelligence, I believe.

 

Invest in some belly buds to gift to a mom to be. The results will be long lasting, I think. There are a lot of brands out there and a relatively new comer to the market is mbrio which stands out because it pipes out music at a lower volume than its competitors for a safer level for the baby. Moms-to-be can clip the soft medical-grade silicon covered buds to their pants and connect. The buds are  just $34.95 and are compatible with apple iPhones and devices.

.

5

I am not certain a woman exists on earth who would not appreciate a trip to the spa. I know some people out there dislike strangers touching their bodies and face, yes, but they are the minority. A Spa Gift Cardis a perfect gift for any  expecting mom could use a massage, facial and some good old fashioned pampering while she waits for her bundle of joy.

You can purchase a card starting at $25+ and add on from there, depending on the cost of spa services in areas where you live

 

6.

Anything personalized is usually more cherished and loved because the giver obviously had forethought to seek out something just for the receiver. At this late stage in the game, time is running out to purchase a personalized item. I’ve given each of my kids when they were younger a personalized book and they loved it and still have it in their bookshelves today.

You can still get a personalized children book in time for Christmas from Uncommon Goods for US buyers for just $35.

 

 

7.

I just got an iPhone 11 and purchased a basic black Otter Box case which works functionally. I only use Otter because it is the only case that I can rely on to keep my phone safe but the black is not cutting it because it gets lost in the bottom of my purse too easily and I lose track of it all the time because it blends in with counters, and tables. I’ve left my phone several places and luckily got it back but I really blame the cover’s color for this problem. So I’m hoping to get an Otter case in a bright color for Christmas.

It sells all sorts of colors but I would love to get it in yellow for $50

 

insta pot

8.

Because slow cookers have been updated and now it’s quicker and easier to whip up a nutritious meal for the family with minimum effort, Instapot is the hottest thing around. The holiday season has revealed the lowest prices ever for them now as well. Currently, an Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker  which is almost $100 can be purchased for half off at $49 over on Amazon.com!

9.

Here is a personal thing. I am in love with Caroline Herrera scent “Good Girl“. It is my new second fave to Jessica McClintock’s self-named perfume which works with my chemistry and gets me compliments every time and all the time. If you are familiar with a fave scent, get it because many come with a free gift at the department stores. If you order Good Girl from Ulta for $69.99 you can get a free gift, a luxurious soft throw or robe. Nice! It’s like two gifts in one!

dooney and bourke wallet

BONUS.

Finally, I would love a new leather wallet. I have a very cute square coin purse wallet my brother in law gifted me from Brooks Brothers years ago. I get a lot of compliments because of the odd shape but it is not practical. I think anyone would love a nice quality new wallet for the new year!

I’m eyeing Booney & Bourke‘s Saffiano Large zip around wallet which the brand sells on its website for just $69! Woot!

 

There you have it! My 9 (10) favorite things for 2019!

Small Business Saturday: Support My Partners and Brands

It is Small Business Saturday!

Last year, I encouraged my readers to support the brands for which I am an affiliate for but this year, I’ve opened up three online shops and am offering discounts and deals in hopes that you will continue to support this platform and purchase from me.

This year, I also opened up a consulting company, JayJayGhatt, where I counsel, consult,  guide and train those who want to earn a living in social media or blogging to do it. Sign up for a consultation here!

Shop by Bellyitch – The Mom Charm Shop

My Mom Charm Store is an online store of  this Parenting blog and it sells novelty tees, and lifestyle items like mugs, pillows, a fun quirky clock and more.

My Etsy shop Digital Publishing Academy sells legal, marketing and productivity templates for online digital business owners like Podcasters, YouTubers, Bloggers, Vloggers and eCommerce shop owners!

Get 20% off any item when you purchase today, Small Business Saturday thru Cyber MONDAY! ENTER Promo CODE: ETSYCYBER2018 at checkout for discount!

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Also, I’m offering a steep discount of $20 OFF for my Blogger’s Legal and Marketing tool kit, regularly priced $29! This Brings the price down to $9!!!! Available to the First 25 buyers!

marketing kit for 9 bucks


discount valuation ebook

Get my Ebook on “How to Valuate Your Blog for Venture Capital Sale” for just $2.99, which is 60% off the Original Price. GET IT HERE! 

We are new

Get Over 500 Stock Photography Images from Picnoi for $34.00 OFF the Original Price!

USE CODE CYBERWEEK at Check out of CLICK HERE!

 

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Photo: Gift Habeshaw

What to Get that Gal (or Guy) Who Has Everything {Holiday Gift Guide}

big house woman sits in front
The holiday gift buying season is upon us ! Can you believe Black Friday is next week?! If you’re like most of us, we’re getting ready to scramble to get things for our loved ones. But for that man or woman who has everything s/he needs, you may find yourself in a conundrum! Fear not. We’ve assembled a list of unique things you can consider purchasing for that affluent friend or family member who is incredibly difficult to shop for because they can purchase for themselves any and everything. Heavy on this list are experiences which are priceless!
  1. Helicopter Ride or Lessons Above a Fantastic City ($1355+ depending on the city)
  2. A Rolex watch for her or him
  3. Spa Experience ($250+)
  4. Private Whisky or Tequila Tasting ($80+ depending on city)
  5. Plush monogram robe ($99+)
  6. Ski Vacation
  7. Birkin Bag ($5,000+) or Otter Pass Messenger Bag ($275)
  8. A Subscription Box ($149+)
  9. A Room Full of Flowers
  10. Fishing Adventure ($2,000 per person+)
  11. Anything from Tiffanys
  12. Anything engraved
EXTRA PRICELESS INTANGIBLES THAT LAST FOREVER….
  1. A Star in the Star Registry
  2. A Living Donation to a Building