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Christmas List Recommendations

Do you all remember when Oprah had her big Christmas recommendation show?  I thought I would do something like that here on the blog.  I have a bunch of things I highly recommend for gifting.

First up, Zenni…for glasses.  I know you’re thinking glasses, really.  The answer is YES.  I always get my glasses from Zenni and recently bought three pairs.  YES, three.  Let me explain.

Glasses come so many different ways nowadays.  The glasses on the right are my regular glasses with progressive lenses.  The red glasses are my computer glasses.  They have a far distance at the top and for computer work, the bottom of the lens is for the medium distance.  I also got the blue tinting to those that help with eye strain at the computer.

My blue glasses I am especially in love with and these I recommend the most for any crafter.  These have a lined bifocal.  I use these for stitching.  At the top is regular distance.  In the bifocal is a 3.5 reading glass.  This is what I use when I’m on the couch stitching and watching television.  I use the bifocal to stitch and then look up and can see the television with my regular prescription.  These have been AMAZING!!  I am totally in love with them.  I highly recommend them.

Can you believe I bought the THREE pairs of glasses and it was under $200?  I think the glasses I use for cross-stitch were only $29.  I purposely picked out a cheaper frame for these.  They were totally worth it.  I normally use magnifiers for cross-stitching so these were great.  I think anyone who does any type of stitching while watching television would love these.  Zenni is running a great sale over the weekend.

Black Friday
Promo Code: BF2020
15% Off Orders of $10+
20% Off Orders of $30+
25% Off Orders of $75+

Cyber Monday
Promo Code: CM2020
15% Off Orders of $10+
20% Off Orders of $30+
25% Off Orders of $75+

HERE IS A LINK to use to order.  If you’re like me and sometimes buy a present for yourself, this might be something you’d really like.  I put 3.5 strength prescriptions in the bifocal as I am cross-stitching on high count linen and typically use a magnifier anyway. You can put in whatever strength in the bifocal that you prefer.

The next thing I can’t help but recommend is the SewPads.  Gary is offering free priority shipping.  YAHOO!! Who doesn’t love free shipping.  These pads are heavy and free shipping is a real bonus.   You need to use the code “Peace” at the checkout.  The sale runs now through the 29th.  Click THIS LINK to order.

Gary, the owner of SewPad, said that he is content with his stock on hand but should inventory run out, they might have to suspend the offer.  So…order early if you’re ordering.  My bottom LOVES Sewpads.  I use them at my computer chair and in the sewing room.  I seriously love them.  I have two chair in my sewing room and I move the pad to which ever chair I’m sitting on.  If I forget, I hop right up and get the pad from the other chair.

You can check out this video to learn more about them.

Bonnie Hunter recommends them and do too.

If you’re looking for an expensive present that you can pool dollars from family and friends to buy together, I highly recommend my sewing light.  It’s the long skinny light.  I recommend these ALL OF THE TIME.  They are spendy but worth the money.  The Slim Line lamp is so nice.  Here’s Carver, as a little guy, and me showing it off. 
I light has made a huge difference for me.  When I was younger I didn’t worry about lighting. As I age, I’ve learned lighting makes a huge difference.  I think it’s all about eyes that have aged.

I tell you all the time but I also love my Nido pressing mats.  Amazon is running a deal right now.  If you buy the large and the small-sized one together, you save $9.  Why not buy one for yourself and gift one?  You can find them HERE.

I’ve told you about this many times.  I love them as they aren’t stinky like other brands. I also love the company LIFETIME WARRANTY – “Love it or we’ll take it back, no questions asked!”  If these aren’t the sizes you’d prefer, you can find other sizes and combos to buy by following THIS LINK.

Something else I’m recommending that I love…Sewing Clips.  When I first saw these I didn’t think I would use them much than last year when I did Bonnie Hunter’s mystery, I used them all the time.  One of the clues involved clipping different steps together.  That got me hooked on them.  These come in a cute little tin tote.  So cute!  You can find them HERE.

Now I use them regularly and would be lost without them.

This next item has me thinking I might want to buy myself this for Christmas.  It’s a planner for quilters and has stickers and stuff like the Happy Planners Kelli loves.  You can find the quilt themed planner HERE.

There are project planning sheets.

There are great reference pages…Oh my.  I love this.

Here is another idea for a gift for a sewing friend….I bought one of these years ago and have enjoyed it.  Back when I bought mine they were like $80.  Now they are only $11.  You can find them HERE.

The light attaches to your machine like this…

These are especially great if you have vintage machines as they have very poor lighting.

These pins would make a great gift add on for a sewing friend.  You could put a gift card with them or just give the pins depending on the price range you are trying to stay in.  You can find them HERE.

If you are looking for a stocking stuffer, my around the neck light is perfect.  You can find it HERE on Amazon.

This can be used for cross-stitching, which I do…and as a reading light.  When the electricity was out, it was perfect to use these as I took the light with me wherever I went and it was hands-free.

Speaking of no electricity, when we lost power, Karl had these lanterns.  They run on AA batteries and were so powerful.

After Kalissa told me they don’t have anything like this if they lose power, I ended up buying a set and they will be part of Craig’s Christmas present.  You can find them HERE.

Another stocking stuffer…razers.  I’m a practical gift giver.  What can I say?  I bought a pack of these when covid first hit.  Karl was doing my shopping and  I needed razors.  I didn’t want him to have to buy me razors.  Not that he wouldn’t but it’s hard for me to sort through and pick our the “right” razor and they can be so expensive.

I ended up on Amazon and found these.  After trying them and deciding they are the best razors ever, I gifted one to each of the girls.  They thought I was silly but I loved them so much and wanted to share the joy.  There are nine in a pack-all are five-blade razors.  All three of the girls said that it was the best disposable razor ever!  You can find them HERE.  The razors are cheap too.  They pencil out to only $1.66 each.  It’s a very practical gift but…it is stocking stuffer sized.

Something good for male or female gift-giving is my favorite microwave popcorn popper.  I use mine a couple of times a week.  What can I say, I’m a popcorn freak.  Pop the kernels in the container set the microwave for 3 minutes and away it pops.  Find it HERE.

I’ve been trying to cut down on my “carbon footprint” so by using this and not buying all the microwave popcorn packages, it’s a little thing I can do.

For kids, I highly recommend Green Toys brand.  These are made of recycled plastic and my childcare kiddos have loved these.  I have four dump trucks.  They are played with often and they look brand new.  I’ve had them several years and previous to covid were played with daily.  They are tough.

Green Toys Dump Truck - Closed Box
They are made of recycled plastic and the plastic is colored all the way through so even if they do scuff (which they don’t), you don’t notice it as the toy isn’t painted.  You can find the truck HERE.  Jasper is getting one for Christmas.

The company has other toys as well and I have several including the fire truck, garbage truck, and tractor.  I have this too.  It’s so cute, you can build a garden.

You can find more toys from this company HERE.

These are the construction Duplos Carver and Gannon have been crazy about.  I always recommend Duplos.  They really grow with kids.  I have 10-year-olds that visit that still love them.

I also bought a few sets of these for the kiddos in my life.  They are cute Dolly and me pajamas.  You can find them HERE.   It’s under $15 for the set.

You can find other kid-friendly items in my Amazon Kids Store.  Each are items that I have gifted or currently have that I love.

If you have a reader in your life you can always pick one of the books from my Amazon library.  Find that list HERE.  You can find my favorite quilt books HERE.

Easy gifts for people not getting together include an Audible Subscription.  Find more info on that HERE.  Amazon gift cards HERE.

So that’s the list…I hope that helps those of you who are struggling to find the perfect gift.  You can see, I like practical gifts!!  Please tell me someone else out there is a practical gift giver too!!


What I’m Reading: Under the Tulip Tree

I was on Hoopla and downloaded a few audiobooks hoping I’d find a really good one.  I’ve had good books lately, but I’m looking for an AMAZING book…you know the ones that stick with you for a long time.

One of the books I selected was Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee.

The book has a Christian Fiction element.  I don’t mind that as long as it doesn’t get too preachy.  This one was perfect.  I truly loved the book and am thrilled to be recommending to all of you.  It’s a good story that deals with racism and enlightment around it.  It is set just as the Great Depression takes hold of the country.  I love reading about that time in history.

Here is what Amazon had to say: Continue reading

Blast from the Past: Thanksgiving 2010

I’m doing a little series of posts that feature old blog posts.  I have been going back and looking at them.  It’s been fun.  I started blogging in June of 2009…WOW.  Over ten years.  I’m so glad I’ve kept the blog as a diary of sorts…today I’m telling you about our Thanksgiving from 10 years ago.

We were living in the farmhouse then.  I still had Karl and Kalissa living at home with us.  They were high schoolers at the time.

Here’s what I wrote:

“Happy Thanksgiving!

That yummy pecan pie in the photo is a recipe from Mary at Quilt Hollow (I had a link but the blog is no longer there) …It’s a cream cheese pecan pie and it’s to die for.  It’s even worth treadmill time…..


Here’s how my Thanksgiving is going so far….

Butterscotch Apple Cake….Check…(also worth treadmill time).
Pumpkin Dessert…Check
Homemade buns….Check
Jelly for Homemade buns…Check
Kale and Greens with Bacon….Check
Mashed Potatoes….Check
Deviled Eggs….Check
Green Bean Casserole…Check
Relish Tray….Check
Pickles and Olives….Check
Cream Cheese Jalapeño Dip and Crackers….Check
Turkey Roasting in the Oven….Check.

Family to eat it all…..Oops.

The weather didn’t cooperate.  We’ve had freezing rain on and off for the last 18 hours.  It isn’t horrible everywhere but enough to make it iffy.  My college kids (all three of them) and their significant others are playing it safe.  They all have evening commitments with the other side of the family in the afternoon so they were planning to be here bright and early this morning.  They all live just far enough away that it won’t be melted enough to get here to make it worth the trip….I am fine with them not making it and even suggested that they stay home…  SAFETY FIRST.  Kelli and Jason live close enough that they might try to sneak over in time for a noon meal.  I think Jason is just that in love with my homemade buns!

Another complication….Our youngest, Kalissa, got a NASTY flu on Tuesday and it lingered into Wednesday.  She finally kept her first food down last night at supper.  No one wants to catch that bug.

Dinner here with just be the four…or maybe six of us…very low key.

My hubby was wondering about what to do with all the food as most of my cooking was done before the weather came…. I am not a drop worried or concerned with that.  He’s going to be getting leftovers for the next three days and I won’t be in the kitchen…I’ll be SEWING!”

This Thanksgiving is much like that Thanksgiving was…low key.  Our family is playing it safe today and only the people who regularly are at our house are going to be at our house.  That means Kalissa’s family, Kelli’s family along with Karl and me.

The funny thing is, I kind of was sad about not having everyone here.  In my mind, I had thought we always have Thanksgiving together.  I guess we didn’t always.  I had forgotten completely about this until I re-read the post.  I’m guessing 10 years down the road we will remember that we weren’t together on Thanksgiving in 2020 just because it is 2020 after all….the year of all things strange, but we’ll have more good family Thanksgivings between now and then.

I guess this just goes to show, we will get through this all…

Even with the way things are now, there is still so much to be thankful for.  Although this year brought some hard things, so much good has come from it too.  Right now high on my list of things I’m thankful for is that Kelli and Jason were to Mayo Clinic and an ultrasound was done on the babies.  Both are looking awesome.  In the beginning, one had “something” near their belly and it wasn’t known if it was an abscess or what.  That has completely cleared.  YAHOO.

I’m hoping you too are finding things to be thankful for today and every day.


Sunday in the Sewing Room

I spent much of Sunday at the computer trying to catch up.  I feel so behind in bookwork and emails and writing blog posts.  It started about a month ago and the behindedness has just stuck.  I thought I might make a dent if I stuck with it for a few hours but I still feel behind.  I’m sure I’ll catch up at some point but I can see, it won’t happen soon.

After so long I wasn’t concentrating and decided enough was enough.  I was going to head to the sewing room.  I had plans to get the dresser that I painted together.  The drawers were still in the garage and I needed to put the drawer pulls back on.  The problem, my dresser is the white one on the far left in the photo.  Whoever painted it, did a crappy job of painting it which was okay as it was easier to paint once I got it.  The problem was they paint the drawer pulls too.  UGH.

So I showed them to Karl.  He said, no problem mom, behold a grinder.

Karl ended up buffing them with the grinder and got all of the paint off of them.  They look fabulous.  Seriously, if I bought these drawer pulls in town, I’d have likely spent the price of the dresser.  I went to screw them on and that’s when I realized the screw heads were painted too.  So the screws all go buffed too.

I carried the drawers upstairs and put them in.  Now the moment of truth, do I like it? Continue reading