games

The Greatest Gift

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my Dad and me circa 1989 (or ’90), Anguilla, BWI

The parent / child relationship is one of beauty and complexity. I am reminded lately of the added layers this bond must sustain when daughters start experimenting with their freedom and sexuality in adolescence. I won’t go into why I am reminded–those aren’t my stories to tell and I believe they are sacred to those individuals. What I will say is my family is near and dear to me and I am a mother and a wife. Forgive me for sharing the obvious, but before becoming a mother or a wife I was (and still am) a daughter and did a fair share of experimenting and testing bonds and bounds. My circumstances were not common, but they were not unique–nor were they often discussed until years after some damage had been done. Perhaps someday I’ll write about that (maybe, I’m still debating).

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Spring Essentials and Welcoming Change

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A cherry blossom in midtown

The changing of seasons is always a signal for me that it’s time for change–change in scenery, wardrobe, attitude (even a minor adjustment can bring upon an entirely new outlook). It’s always wonderful when being a gift-giver can also be an opportunity to act as a catalyst for positive change, particularly for someone you love. Now I’m fully aware that meaningful change isn’t as easy as slipping into a new pair of pants, but sometimes small things can add up and that’s all we need to cobble together an attitude adjustment.

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Looking Back: Birthday Celebrations For My Son

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Spring is almost here and in my house, that means it’s almost time for a birthday party…for a little boy–my youngest, no less. Every year he gets excited about six weeks beforehand and starts dropping not-very-subtle hints about what he wants for his birthday, and where he wants his party. This year he is turning the big 1-0 and he’s all about computers and baseball–if you can’t catch it or code it, it’s impossible to get much of his attention for very long. He wants a robotics and game design party–yes, this exists–but maybe because it’s a landmark year (ten feels special and monumental to me) this got me thinking about all the different parties we’ve had over the years (don’t worry, I’ve omitted any duplications).

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Oscar Party Ideas: Award Show Inspiration

20130217-222250.jpgI love award show season…LOVE IT!

I watch the Pre-shows, the red carpets, the awards shows themselves, I cry, laugh, eye-roll and yell at the TV (in the same way men do during football season) at the acceptance speeches and winner disclosures and I absolutely watch the fashion wrap-ups. Now it’s not every esoteric one. I limit it to the Golden Globes, The SAG Awards, The Grammys, The Emmys, The Oscars and, of course, The Tonys. The Grande Dame of all of these–I actually have two but Grande Dames but not everyone agrees with me, major props if you can guess my #2–is The Oscars.

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Tech Gift Ideas Found At CES

20130115-225402.jpgI began this post en route back from the International CES in Las Vegas where I walked the floors of the North, South and Central Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Every January, spectators from every continent come to demonstrate and spectate…and, hey it’s Vegas, so they also celebrate. I was pretty surprised this year, in addition to cool TVs, camera and appliances I also found a bunch of interesting electronic gifts to look forward to in the upcoming months… Some are even available now, and totally worth the possibility of an early adopter mark-up, if you ask me. Here are my top picks for the tech lover in your life.

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Totally Awesome Gifts for Babies, Kids and Teens

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This Holiday season I have a total of ten kids to buy for (one is still in-uterero), and that’s before I get to my own two. I love shopping for kids…no really, I do. What I don’t always love–but actually do appreciate in a weird kind of way–is how brutally honest kids can be about whether a gift truly is cool or not. They have no filter at all and don’t feel the need to pretend to love those argyle socks and brown braided belt. Why should they…psst: don’t get a kid a belt and socks from Crewcuts when they want a Transformer from Target. Anyway, I went on a search for some cool kid-picks that could pass-muster with even the most brutally honest recipient and I have to say I think there might even be one or two adult cross-overs in contention, (does that make them automatically uncool though??). *Sigh*

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50 Unique Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Image courtesy of Stewart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’re anything like me, you believe the best gifts come in small packages. That’s why I LOVE buying stocking stuffers. When I was a youngster, every year I knew that there would be one very special gift in my stocking among the little fun things that were also there and it was always so much fun anticipating where it would be–under the chocolate Santa…after the silly putty…before the socks? Below are some fun and unique stocking stuffer ideas (some links are also available to see some of my picks for each) meant to inspire and delight your recipients…and feel free to add your ideas in the comments below.

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October Top Toys: Get Holiday Gifting Ready

20121029-212904.jpgRemember when Holiday shopping started AFTER Thanksgiving? Me too! This year I started getting catalogs and emails after my kids went back to school. Then the panic started–have I been asleep at the shopping wheel, should I be more prepared? Every year it seems we get inundated with Christmas promotions and Chanukah sales earlier and earlier but what this also means is that ultimately people ARE shopping so there is more competition for selection so starting to think about your gift list now is prudent. That’s why I’m dedicating my regular end-of-month toy feature to gifting ideas and thought starters, as always from Amazon.com. Enjoy!

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September’s Top Toys: Hot Picks For Fall

If you’re anything like me, you start holiday shopping in October so get ready for tomorrow…because it is ON. As luck would have it and as I do at the end of every month, I’m rounding up the the top toys — by popularity and rating as tracked by Amazon.com — across a number of categories and I’ve already earmarked a few ideas for my Christmas and Chanukah shopping lists. ¬†Featured below are selections from: action & toy figures, dolls and doll accessories, construction & blocks, arts & craft, outdoor gym & swing sets, learning & educational toys, play vehicles and games. Bear in mind, the prices listed are “List Prices” however, on Amazon you can often find items deeply discounted (many of these featured items are), so make sure to check.

PS – Stay tuned for special Halloween posts coming soon too. Happy Fall!

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Football Themed Gifts

20120909-225044.jpgIt’s been a while since I did a sports themed gift list and with football season getting off and running it seems the time has come (I know it’s this time of year because of the content showing on our living room TV on Sundays and Monday nights). So here is a list for your pig-skin loving giftee, and also a nod to mine (love you honey bunny xxoo).

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