Tag Archives: Christmas

12 Random Gift Ideas Under $45

Hey everyone. Here are 12 random gift ideas I love from $9 to $45 – something for every taste and every budget. Whether it’s your mom, brother, daughter, friend or spouse, these gifts are great for everyone.


InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Portable Ultrasonic Diffusers with Color LED Lights Changing and Waterless Auto Shut-off Function for Home Office Bedroom Room, 100 mL


1. Portable Essential Oil Diffuser $22. Fill your space with a lovely fragrance that can lift the mood and relieve stress.



DYMO LabelManager 160 Handheld Label Maker (1790415)

2. DYMO Handheld Label Maker $14A fast, simple label maker that’s easy to take with you.



Sleigh All Day Loose & Flowy Longsleeve Tee - From Phoenix With Love - 1

3. Sleigh All Day Loose and Flowy Longsleeve Tee $35During Christmas time, you don’t sleigh, you SLAY.




4. Minted Crisscross Table Runner $26Complement any contemporary or traditional décor with a crisp table runner.



5.TP-Link Smart Plug $45.  Make your devices run on your schedule, even when you’re not there. You can read my review on this device here.


6. Mug Warmer for Home/Office $10Keep your favorite mug of coffee, tea or cocoa hot when you want it.



MagnoGrip 311-090 Magnetic Wristband

7. MagnoGrip Magnetic Wristband $13Ideal for holding nails, screws, fasteners, wrenches and small tools.



8. Schefs Premium Stainless Steal Tea Infuser $9. Makes brewing a cup of tea as easy as possible.



Game of Phones

9. Game of Phones Card Game.  No two games are ever the same.


10. Clip-on 180 Degree Fish Eye Lens for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Android Devices $7. Cool lens for the amateur photographer.

11. Digital Tire Gauge $10Displays instantly and clearly shows exact reading.



12. Natural Silk Pillowcase $20. Great for preventing wrinkles, dry skin and frizzled hair, and morning bed head.


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Christmas in Chicago


xmas in chicagoI spy us in “The Bean.”xmas in chicagoxmas in chicagoLOVE this real tree. The imperfection makes it beautiful.xmas in chicagoxmas in chicago

xmas chicagoWe saw three different ice skating rinks in the city. Admission is free but there is a skate rental fee.xmas chicagoxmas chicagoChicago’s Zoo is covered with lights… and it’s free. What’s not to love?xmas chicagoxmas chicagoChicago’s deep dish pizza. Basically cheese with tomato sauce… But so good.xmas chicagoFor us it was cold that day (40 degrees), but warm for Chicago standards.xmas chicagoChristmas decor is on every Chicago corner. It makes the city look so festive. xmas chicagoThe best view of Chicago is from the very top of the Hancock Building. xmas chicagoxmas chicagoxmas chicagoThis was so cool. Chicago runs a Holiday Train that everyone loves. People cram into the crowded train with happy, smiling faces. I was so touched by how much everyone loves it.xmas chicagoThe Baha’i House of Worship is composed of white cement and quartz crystals. The temple is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois. The design just blew my mind.xmas chicagoxmas chicagoxmas chicagoThe German Christkindl Market brought back lots of memories of my childhood in Germany. Is anyone familiar with Mohrenkoepfe?xmas chicagoxmas chicagoI just returned from visiting my daughter Melody who lives in Chicago. She had finished her finals and invited me to see Chicago during the holiday season. I helped her move there in August and decided I love Chicago during every season. In my opinion, Chicago has a similar energy to New York City, but Chicago is cleaner, less crowded and much more family friendly. There is no shortage of activities around the city, which are easily accessible by train or bus.

My daughter was my tour guide and I loved every minute of it. We had so much fun visiting the Chicago Zoo at night, The Baha’i House of Worship, the Holiday Train, Christkindl Market, Hancock Building, etc. The city is beautiful – full of lights and Christmas decor.

This was also my first time taking the Megabus, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

megabusxmas chicagomegabusThe Megabus offers fares for as low as $1. My fare to Chicago was $10 each way. The Megabus has free Wi-Fi, is clean, and on time. The bus wasn’t full so I had two seats to myself. I was not compensated by Megabus in any shape or form to say this. Just my personal experience I wanted to share with you.


DIY Painted Mugs For Coffee Lovers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MakeItMerrier  #CollectiveBias

DIY painted mugsDIY painted mugsDIY painted mugWhen my girls were tiny toddlers, I started sharing my holiday baking tradition with them. Fast forward 17 years. Baking cookies is still their favorite thing to do during the holiday season. It’s the one thing that has to happen no matter how crazy life gets.DIY painted mugsOver the years the kids have grown taller and older but nothing has changed about our baking tradition. Whenever we bake, the kitchen is a huge mess. Flour is everywhere as are chocolate chips and colorful sprinkles. Christmas songs (but even ABBA and Celine Dion) blast through the small speakers, and spatulas become our microphones. Quite the scene, let me tell you. Better than any reality show.DIY painted mugsDIY Painted MugsWe are usually in our pajama pants and by the time we finish, our tummies are full of sugar, our hearts full of joy. Dinner doesn’t happen that day and clean up takes several hours. I love all of it. I wish I could capture it in a bottle and drink or smell from it when I feel down.DIY Painted MugsThe girls are grown now (boy is a preteen) but the baking continues. Nothing can stop our tradition – not even divorce, out-of-state move, or a tight budget.DIY painted mugsThe one thing that has changed is that now my girls are old enough to share a cup of coffee with me. There is something so peaceful about sitting on the couch with them, drinking coffee, eating cookies and chatting about life. A cup of coffee with home-baked goodies and people I love – priceless.DIY painted mugsAnd because my girls enjoy coffee so much I decided to give each a painted mug with a bag of coffee for Christmas. I think they’ll be very happy with this gift. Ask any college student for their top gift wishes – Coffee is usually one of the things they ask for.

DIY painted mugsI hope the mugs will remind them of our cozy time on the couch during the holiday season.DIY painted mugsDIY painted mugsA painted mug is easy to make. All you need for this DIY gift is a sharpie or glass paint marker and an inexpensive mug. DIY painted mugsAfter you draw your design,  allow the mug to air cure approximately 8 hours, then bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes in non-preheated oven. Allow mug to cool with oven door open. Now the mug is dishwasher safe.
Starbucks at KrogerAt Kroger I found great coffee to go with the mugs. I think Starbucks French Roast and Starbucks Veranda Blend will be perfect for them. The Starbucks House Blend stays with me. It will pair perfectly with our cookies. I can’t wait to share it with the girls when they come home for the holidays.

If you want to gift or share Starbucks coffee with your loved ones, right now you can get a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift when you purchase 3 or more qualifying Starbucks products.

What are your family holiday traditions? Do you enjoy a good cup of coffee as much as we do? xo Sabine