Mother’s Day 2019 is right around the corner—this coming Sunday! If this is catching you by surprise, relax. You still have time to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift. And you can count on me to have been working tirelessly to come up with fabulous gift ideas to help you out. Because you love your […]

Several readers have asked recently about the best inexpensive headphones and earbuds both for themselves and their kiddos. Today seems like a great day to respond.

Generally, these are the best values, price points and styles of headphones for adults and kids, too:

Best inexpensive wired earbuds

Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbuds are smartphone compatible with integrated microphone and remote for Apple, Android, and Blackberry devices. Comes with small, medium and large earpads a perfect fit for adults and children. Your choice of several beautiful colors. Under $15.

Best mid-level wired headphones

1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones deliver an extremely accurate music-listening experience. For the discriminating listener as they delivery dynamic power and clarity. You’ll love the sizzling highs and deep lows. The built-in microphone and remote are Apple and Android compatible. Around $75.

Best value for high quality wired, noise canceling

Bose QuietComfort 20 is the Cadillac of smartphone replacement earbuds. These are only for those with discriminating hearing and music appreciation to go along with it. Available in two models: one for Apple devices* and one for Samsung/Android devices. Features noise canceling that reduces surrounding distractions, letting the music stand out. Many other high-end features. Under $250.

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Mature woman thinking with hand on chin against white background with Valentine's Day vignette

Valentine’s Day is this week, Thursday! I know, I can’t believe it either.

Bless you, if you are prepared and way ahead of the game. For the rest of us, the way I see it we have six options:

  1. Ignore the day altogether and assume our spouses, kids, grandkids, friends, family, and co-workers, will think we forgot and give us a pass. Not recommended.
  2. Get thee to the card shop and post office to pick up Valentine’s cards and plenty of postage stamps, then get them in the mail, pronto!
  3. Make sweet treats in your kitchen befitting the day—still plenty of time for this one.
  4. Plan a date with your love, even if your wallet is a little thin. Get creative to find reasonable and fun alternatives that require only pocket change—or with any luck, some that are absolutely free. I have a few ideas for you in Great Dates for Couples on a Tight Budget.
  5. Plan a Fun Family Party. Here are 8 Fun Family Games for Valentine’s Day to get you started.
  6. Find the perfect little something for those perfect someones in our lives—there is still plenty of time to do this, too.

Should you be leaning toward option #6, here are 21 great gift ideas sure to please that won’t break the bank.

(You can get delivery on Wednesday, Feb. 13 for any of these gifts by using Amazon Prime, but you need to hurry! Not a Prime member? No problem. Start your 30-free trial today, place your order, get delivery on Wed., then cancel within 30 days—you will not be charged, but yet enjoy all of the Prime benefits including 2-day shipping. It’s legal and ethical; in fact, Amazon encourages us to do this.)

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Yes, another Holiday Gift Guide, and not so much because I love creating these guides for you (I do!) but due to popular request. And if it wouldn’t have appeared to be overly self-serving, for sure I would have titled this Guide something like my favorite Best Inexpensive really awesome kitchen things that foodies of all levels are sure to love as much as I do.

1. Pizza Stone for Grill and Oven

Finally, a pizza stone that is not so fragile I have to worry about it cracking under extreme conditions (I must be super hard on pizza stones because I have broken more than a couple)! First, it is extra thick at 3/4″. And heavy (thank you Amazon for Prime shipping). But here is the most amazing thing—guaranteed to withstand up to a whopping 1000 degrees F. Culinary Couture Pizza Stone for Grill and Oven will not crack! I leave mine on the bottom shelf of my oven at all times, which makes for easy storage, but also makes it convenient for baking bread as well as chicken, shrimp, and cookies, too. About $40.

2. Egg Rings

What a great idea, really. These Non-Stock Fried and Poached Egg Rings are perfect, too, for pancakes and anything else you want to come out round! Also comes in a heart-shaped option. About $8 for a set of four.

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We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites. 

1.   Moccasin Slippers

Suede leather mocs with rubber soles, sheepskin insole, and faux fur lining. Super soft and warm. Several choices of color. Sizes 6.5 to 15. Under $50

2.   Minimalist Fiber Wallet

Forget the fat old-fashioned fold-in-half wallet. It’s time for an update to slim and stylish. This wallet is amazing for all it offers while remaining minimalistic. It even has a sliding coin drawer. This fiber minimalist fiber wallet is designed to fit in a man’s front pocket where it is more secure and accessible. About $20. Read more


Finding the perfect gift for teen boys and girls is almost impossible. So forget trying to be perfect and concentrate on this: Teenagers like what they like. Funny thing. I’m kinda’ the same way. So what do teens like? Here are twelve gifts for teens that are sure to delight both you and your young recipient.

This Gift Guide for Teens is nothing if not a lot of fun, no matter your age. Oh, and one more thing: At writing, all of these gifts as linked to Amazon, were priced under $20. Make sure to check because prices can and do change.


1. Window Breaker, Seatbelt Cutter

Regardless of how reliable, responsible and confident your teen driver is, a lack of experience makes him or her more prone to accidents. An all-in-one emergency rescue tool has enough cool factor to get any driver’s attention, making this a dandy gift for all the drivers on your list regardless of age. This one tool is a steel hammer to easily smash car windows in case of a dire emergency and a seatbelt cutter to slice through seat belts fast.

2. Portable Compact Charger

Your teen’s phone or another device will never run out of power again once he or she is carrying this sweet Anker Portable Charger, which is the size of a candy bar. But don’t let that fool you. It’s powerful with high capacity and delivers a fast charge. Includes USB and Micro USB ports and cables for both. Lightning cable for iPhone or iPad sold separately. 

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If you’re having a difficult time finding just the right gifts for women in your life—young and old; gifts that have both class and quality but won’t break the bank—this post is for you.

I’ve compiled specific ideas—things I believe most women will find as useful as they are beautiful (super affordable, too).


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I’ve been holding onto the coolest gift idea since last Christmas and it has not been easy. I’ve wanted to tell you, but only at the perfect time. It’s a gift I gave my husband—quite possibly the best gift I have ever given him. Ever. Let me explain.

Morning cup of coffee, gift, newspaper, glasses and bowtie on wooden desk for breakfast on happy fathers day

Having been married to the same man for 48 years (I know, I can’t believe it either), given birth to and co-raised our two now-adult sons and now the luckiest grandma on earth to our two grandsons, I know a thing or two about the male human. He loves a flashlight. A good flashlight. Really powerful. One that always works, is always handy, which means never lost.

Imagine all of these features in a flashlight that is the size of a fat tube of lipstick. With a pocket clip, so it slips into a pocket without going all the way to the bottom, where it ceases to be 100% handy. And has several settings for brightness. And it has a magnet on the end to make it stick to things so you can have both hands free.

Stop imagining because such a thing really does exist. But here’s the very best feature of all: It has a rechargeable battery just like a mobile phone—a tiny mini-USB port (adorable). You recharge it just like a cell phone!

Harold has used his pocket flashlight every day—maybe every hour—for five months now, and charged it fewer than six times. That’s how powerful this rechargeable battery is. It can hold a charge like forever.

I’m going to jump out on a limb and say there could not be a better gift for any male person (OK, I want one, too) on any gift list for any occasion than the first item on our Father’s Day Gift Guide 2018.

Word to the wise: The good stuff sells out fast, which is why you’re reading this a full three weeks ahead of Father’s Day, June 17.


1. Compact LED Flashlight.  Olight S1 mini Baton Compact LED Flashlight just the best indispensable personal piece of equipment for the men in your life (see above). It’s reliable, perfectly engineered and so stinkin’ useful! There are knockoffs trying to be as fabulous, but none can match this Olight S1 Mini. Best. Gift. Ever. About $45

2. Personal Memoir. This is such a great gift for any dad or grandfather—a kind of template in a beautiful book that will prompt him to write his memoir for his kids and grandkids. The Story of a Lifetime: A Keepsake of Personal Memoirs is a hardback book to be completed—filled in with answers to almost 500 simple to provocative questions such as, “What period of your life have you enjoyed the most?” and “What has been your greatest contribution to life so far?” What a wonderful way to pass along a legacy of wisdom and knowledge that will be a treasured family heirloom now and for generations to come. About $20 Read more