If you're like me, you have a 'one for you one for me' version of holiday shopping. I can go all year long without shopping for myself, but then when I Christmas shop, bam! all kinds of stuff I want for myself. I've always considered myself lucky that my birthday kicks off December because I almost always have birthday money in tow to satisfy my urgent coveting of items.
I've broken it down into a few categories, but basically these are things I have been using or have just discovered that I have fallen in love with. I'll cop to being inspired by Alison Tyler's gift guides (go to her blog and check them out) so I'll give her a friendly little wave and blow her a kiss for the inspiration.
For gluten free folks in your life:
I have always used Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix. On a whim I tried the oatmeal cookie mix, unusual for me because I am a proud and loud from-scratch baker. But lately I can abide by some shortcuts. They were phenomenal. So I tried some other of their products. Besides the two already mentioned, I highly recommend the Pizza Crust Mix for the GF people in your life because...well, one word: Focaccia. I haven't even used it as pizza dough yet but I made the Focaccia and it was inhaled. But not just by me! By two teens with expert palates. The all purpose artisan flour mix is great too--helped me to master gf pie crust. Again, I usually make my own flour but I always try to have some pre-made stuff in my house for those urgent baking cravings.
The fitness nuts in your life:
T25. Thirty pounds, multiple smaller jean sizes and size Medium shirts later...I tried Hip Hop Abs Ultimate Results. Love it! Despite having no rhythm at all, I have a great time dancing with this program and I've actually developed a tiny bit of skill in the area. Oh, there will be no The Hot Chick style dance-offs in my future, but I look forward to working out every day (and still mix in T25). My Xmas gift to myself was Shaun T's InsanityMAX: 30 and though I haven't tried it yet, I am super duper excited (or just masochistic).
For the readers:
I have a few. YA books I recommend are Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers series. Girl child read them, I followed suit and I'm currently reading the third and final book of the trilogy. Also, approved by yours truly and her female offspring is Eventide by Christine Allen-Riley. Girl child actually beta read for this book and I bought her a gorgeous print copy now placed in a prized position on her hunormous bookshelf. Mystery/thriller lovers, again, I have one word: Mo Hayder. The Jack Caffery books are dark, addictive and breathtaking. My favorites (I have read them all at this point and am out...*sniffle*) were Birdman, The Treatment, Poppet and the most recent Wolf. Fabulous writing that never lets up. It's like being on a runaway locomotive of reading. And finally, dirty book readers, I recommend you stuff your beloved's Kindle with Alison Tyler's recent mini books Alison on the Rocks and Alison on Top. Alison never disappoints when it comes to kink, sex and a old-fashioned damn fine storytelling.
And why not treat yourself to my Christmas novella 'tis the Season? Just for a small reading break. Perhaps with a glass of wine and a gluten free cookie or five.
For the tippler in your life:
Now Alison Tyler (like Elf on the Shelf she just keeps popping up!) sent me these for my birthday [sadly unavailable at the mo :( ]and they were in one of her gift guides, but I'm repeating here. The Wines that Rock [a different selection in the link] wines weren't just awesomely cool to look at but they were tasty, tasty, tasty too. So you could go ahead and satisfy a music lover who loves to sip some vino with one gift. Also, I have discovered in the last year: Pimm's! When I say discovered I mean became addicted too. A bottle of Pimm's, a bottle of lemonade, some 7Up and a cool glass and you have yourself a prezzie. And let's not forget, the lovely author who sent me a gift card to DrinkUpNY! (Thank you again, JA). Anyways, they ship booze, have good prices, great service and really, let's tell the truth, what is better than getting a freaking UPS man to bring your booze right to your house? Nothing! Unless Santa's bringing it.
Girl child, despite my distaste (or so I claim) of all things a cappella, girl child has gotten me hooked on Pentatonix and well...see for yourself. *I had a video embedded but Youtube apparently farted and something got messed up. So I had to take it down. Search: Mary did you Know? It'll pop up first thing!
Also, boy child introduced me to Noah Gunderson who does something to my soul. Seriously...
And though it's not music, thanks to a random comment on FB from Willsin Rowe, we discovered and became hooked on Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk with Me.
I have more, but your eyes are probably crossing by now. If you have any gifties you're giving that you want to share, let loose in the comments. And I can't believe it...an honest to goodness blog this time. It's crazy. Seems like forever. You're amazed aren't you? I know...