Must Haves: Your Gift Arsenal

20121016-003058.jpgMust-haves are powerful things. I didn’t realize how so until the last ten years, give or take a few–I call these the mommy years–but drawing from your go-tos almost always (I did say almost) can make a great gift if you keep it in context. In short, wisdom trumps cute every time especially when it comes to parenting and (pre-wedding) bridal. Here are my must-haves for your perusal and consideration. Feel free to share yours in the comments below as well.

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Halloween Inspired Gifts

20121007-111243.jpgWhether you’re going to a Halloween party, hosting one of your own and need favors or want some Halloween themed gifts for a birthday or other fun event, this is a fabulous time to get thematic with spook-tackular treats, accessories and more. I’ve selected confections, hostess ideas, personal accessories, books and movies that incorporate one (sometimes more) of my favorite Halloween themes: spiders, skulls, black cats and pumpkins. I’m still not sure how we are going to celebrate–house party, trick or treating or going to a local block party–but you’ll be one of the first to know, of course, and would love to know about your Halloween traditions in the comments.

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Gifts For Moms & Grandmas

July 4th Lobster Bake: Three Generations
From left to right back row: my grandmother, mom, aunt
Front row: my son (2) and daughter (4.5)
I am behind the camera

My mother’s birthday is at the end of August–sometimes falling right in the middle of Labour Day weekend (if you want further proof of this, see my earlier post on her Summertime Tea Party). What’s really interesting, or at least it was for me, is when you see your mother in action as not just “mom” but as “grandma”… particularly if this is to your children, and in my case since I was my mothers’ only child this was the only way that was going to happen. Putting on my gift-giving hat, this is a very cool challenge because I get to think about different kinds of gifts for her from my children and work with them on the selecting and assembling.

Summer’s Hottest Toys by Age (0-13)

20120724-203407.jpgEvery month, I’ll recap the hottest toys for kids ages 0-13 based on Amazon popularity and, of course, will throw in personal choice picks culled from my own gifting that month. So whether you’re looking for a birthday gift, new sibling gift, graduation present, tooth fairy surprise or just want to make someone’s day special, here’s what’s cool right now for itty-bitty newborns to the toddler set, for preschoolers to grade schoolers, all the way up to tweens and (*gasp*) early teens. Then toys are not cool. Try these other guides on skulls and spikes instead.

NOTE: Prices listed are the manufacturer list price, and do not necessarily reflect the current purchase price on Amazon (read: AMZ is possibly cheaper–and always changing–so don’t let sticker shock stop you…check it out and see).

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Studded and Spiked Themed Gifts For All Ages

I have a daughter, nieces and god-daughters ages 8-24 (oh, and a very cool aunt but I can’t tell you her age) and although what’s considered appropriate (or “in”) varies, I’m usually impressed and often surprised that despite decades of separation the same types of trends and looks appeal to them. Studs and spikes in some form, have been en vogue for my favorite ladies for the last few birthday and holiday seasons so I’ve earned my stripes…er…spikes.

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