Battery operated LED fairy lights in decorative setting

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

2015 Holiday gift guide, stocking stuffers

Stockings brimming with novelties, gadgets and various goodies are one of my favorite holiday traditions. Small, unique and inexpensive gifts make perfect gifts for holiday stockings.

You’ll find some of my favorite stocking-stuffer lighting gifts below (all under $20!), along with a few bonus ideas that will add some jolly to your holly.


Solar LED Mission Umbrella light stocking stuffer

Clip one several of these solar-powered lights on a patio umbrella, tent, gazebo, awning, etc. to create an outdoor party atmosphere.

Solar LED Mission Umbrella Clip Light, $6.90
HOLIDAY2015 Eligible!


Super magnetic puttyThis is nothing like the putty I used to get in my stocking every year. Set the putty near the magnet and it will “come alive” and stretch itself out to reach it. Wild!

Super Magnetic Putty, $15.00


Battery operated LED fairy lights in decorative settingCall me biased, but these fairy lights have appeared in just about every gift guide I’ve done. I love them for decorating all year round and with the current discounts and promotions, you can load up on these for yourself too!

Battery Operated LED Fairy Lights, $14.90 $11.90,
HOLIDAY2015 Eligible!
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Holiday gift ideas for Do-It-Yourself'ers

Holiday Gift Guide: DIY Enthusiasts

2015 Gift Guide - Holiday Gifts for DIY Enthusiasts

Do you have a Do-It-Yourself’er in your life that refuses to hand over a holiday wish-list, leaving you scrambling for ideas?

The trick to good gift-giving is seeking out things that match the DIY’ers project personality. It has been my experience that DIY’ers fall into three categories, and you may recognize your friend or family member in one or more of them. I call them Dreamers, Renegades, and Perfectionists.

The Dreamer: Gifts for DIY Creatives & Thinkers

This type of Do-It-Yourself’er always has an idea, a grand plan for the Next Big Project. Everything they see gives them inspiration. They enjoy building and repurposing, but the real fun for The Dreamer is coming up with the idea. Look for gifts that harness their creative energy:


Sketchbook for DIY'ers to record ideas and plans

Make sure all of those killer ideas get recorded in style with a large sketchbook that has plenty of room for notes, drawings, and measurements. A pocket-sized sketchbook is another must-have, because you never know when inspiration will hit.

Colorful Pastels Hardcover Sketchbook, $10.95


Artistic prismacolor pens from Blick

Naturally, sketchbooks need something to write in them with. Premier pens like these Prismacolors come in a multitude of colors and sets in all price ranges.

Prismacolors, prices start around $25 (more…)

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2015 holiday gift guide for the host and hostess

Holiday Gift Guide: Host & Hostess

Holiday gift guide for the host and hostessThis is the third installment in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide Series. So far we’ve looked at great gift ideas for co-workers and grandparents, and today I’m sharing a list of unique gifts that your holiday host or hostess will love.


A successful holiday party host juggles a lot of responsibilities – preparing food, monitoring the grill, mingling with the crowd, and keeping drinks topped off. And they do all of this while making it look completely effortless.

If your group of friends has an undisputed epic entertainer in its midst, you’ll want to give them a gift that’s as great as they are. Here is a collection of 10 party-ready gift ideas that will guarantee you a spot on next year’s invitation list too…

10 unique gift ideas to bring to the host or hostess at your holiday party

  1. Your host will want to use these battery operated fairy lights year round to decorate every celebration. Fairy lights consist of tiny LED lights (about the size of a grain of rice) on an ultra-thin bendable wire. The wire molds around just about anything, or you can simply place them in a clear jar or vase like the ones pictured.
  2. Stainless steel dachshunds decked in holiday gear are the theme for these festive salt & pepper shakers from Ballard Designs.
  3. Whether these Bespoke flavored sea salts are partnered with your ‘dashing’ salt & pepper dachshunds or given as a gift on their own, they’ll be a delectable addition to many future parties.
  4. Your party host will never have to worry about guests forgetting which wine glass is theirs with this set of 12 colorful Kate Spade holiday light wine tags.
  5. Dangling from tree branches or filled with baubles and used as a patio table centerpiece are just a couple of ways your hostess can use decorative solar lanterns at holiday parties and beyond.
  6. Your host may choose to share this tin of exclusive Neiman Marcus cookies with the crowd, or stash them aside as an after-party reward for a job well done.
  7. The warm glow of antique style string lights draped from tree to tree are equally dazzling at an elegant garden party as they are at a back yard barbecue. Your host will love the versatility and uniqueness of this gift, whatever the occasion.
  8. Make food preparation easier with this personalized kitchen stand that can hold an iPad full of recipes, or a favorite recipe book.
  9. With all the busyness of mingling and monitoring, it’s likely to take a while for your host to finish a drink. Make sure their favorite spirit stays cold without getting watered down with a whiskey wedge!
  10. Solar tiki torches are safer than open flames, and just as charming for ambient lighting at an evening party. If children or pets are a part or your holiday host’s event, they’ll also appreciate this safer alternative.

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2015 holiday gift guide for grandparents

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Grandparents

Gift ideas for Grandparents

This is the second installment in our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide Series. Last week we looked at great ideas for the office gift exchange, and this week we’re talking about gifts for grandparents, both old and new.


Grandparents are notorious for spoiling their grandkids rotten and sending them home to mom and dad. Today I have rounded up a list of practical, fun, and sentimental gift ideas that will let you spoil them this year.

Fun, unique gifts for grandparentsUnique, Fun Gifts

For the globe-trotting grandparents that traverse the great wide open in a sedan, an RV or even on a set of Harleys, custom bobble heads designed to look like the recipients are a fun gag gift that is guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind.

If your active grandparent hasn’t discovered the outrageously fun sport that I can only describe as a cross between tennis and ping pong, then gifting them with their own beginners Pickleball set is a must. Pickleball is fun, easy on the joints and great exercise.

You’re never too old to learn something new, and gifting your grandparents with a new experience might be just the thing. If they’ve never been to the theater, buy them tickets for a local play or musical, or splurge on Broadway tickets. Some other ideas for great “new experiences” are wine tastings, kayaking lessons, or lessons to learn how to play the guitar! (more…)

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2015 Holiday gift guide for co-workers

Holiday Gift Guide: Co-Workers

Holiday gift guide for your coworkers

This is the first in our 2015 series of Holiday Gift Guides, pulling together some of our most “give-able” lighting products with unique items from around the web.


Office gift exchanges can be tricky, especially when they involve some type of Secret Santa game. They usually include each employee randomly drawing a name, and often go one of a few ways:

A) You and your pal finagle a way to draw each other’s name, so that you can mutually agree NOT to participate in this ridiculous game. (Bah-Humbug!) You’re only reading this post because you can’t get out of getting something for your boss.

B) You overhear your office mates whispering about you in the break-room, “Man, I hope he doesn’t draw my name. Did you see those lame gifts he gave last year?” and you vow that this year you will be the BEST. SECRET SANTA. EVER.

C) Last year you gave gifts SO EPIC that you have the Secret Santa Superstar reputation to uphold but you’ve run out of clever ideas.

Whatever the case, here are a handful of ideas that can help for around $25 or less.

2015 holiday gift guide for coworkers (more…)

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Under Cabinet Lighting From Start to Finish - A Guide

Under Cabinet Lighting, From Start to Finish

Under Cabinet Lighting From Start to Finish - A GuideLast week I shared an infographic that detailed four key considerations when choosing under cabinet lighting: light source, shape, installation type and power source. Today’s post takes it a step further with a deep dive into some of our most popular under cabinet lighting resources, rounded up in one convenient place.

Wherever you are in the process, whether you’ve narrowed down your options or you’re still in the research stage, here’s a roadmap to under cabinet lighting success, broken down into three phases: Choosing, Purchasing and Installing.

Phase One: Still Deciding

It happens to the best of us – analysis paralysis. You want to know what’s out there so you can decide what you want, but with so many lighting choices it’s hard to weed through them all. Here are some resources that can help you with the decision-making process:

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