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EC Father’s Day Gift Guide 2020

Let’s start out with a quick history of Father’s Day, shall we? It seems that we’ve been celebrating Mother’s Day since it was invented by a young girl and promoted by the Wanamaker department store back in 1908. A campaign quickly followed to create such a day to honor fathers, but it didn’t meet with the […]


Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2020

Every year about this time, the age-old question comes up to baffle lots of people: Practical or sentimental? The answer, of course, depends on your mother.

Let me assure you that many of us (I am one) really do love and adore well-thought-out, practical gifts—even a fabulous vacuum cleaner. Or the latest kitchen gadget, tool, or device we’ve been dying to have.

Then there are others who are downright insulted by practical gifts on Mother’s Day. Those are the sentimental type who love a beautiful bouquet of flowers, plaque, jewelry, or wall hanging so lovely that it brings tears to our eyes.

And now, without further adieu, our Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2020!

See you there… Love, xo m


31 Best Gifts for Valentine’s Day

In this post I have 31 great gift ideas that are sure to please your Valentines without breaking the bank, divided into three categories—Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Her, and Gifts for Him. Honestly, this is so much fun.

Don’t worry that time is short. I’ve also included a slick way you can legally and ethically sign up for Amazon Prime Shipping, use it to send your Valentine’s Day gifts (to yourself or to others) and not have to pay for it. Really, It’s OK. Amazon wants you to do this.

All that and more in today’s post. See you there!

m ❣️


2019 Holiday Gift Guide—Best Ideas for Foodies

Happy Saturday, everyone! I just uploaded one more 2018 Holiday Gift Guide, my best inexpensive ideas for the Foodies on your list … PLUS a Giveaway!

We’re trying a new Giveaway procedure, which I think you’ll discover to be a lot more friendly. So enter soon—this one ends tomorrow at midnight.

I’m off to a neighborhood Christmas Boutique.

Enjoy this beautiful day! Love, xo m ❤️🎄and of course ☀️ because it’s Colorado 😊


My Shopping Addiction Rehab Program

Shopping is my thing. I love the thrill of the hunt, that feeling of discovery and the joy of a bargain. I find it satisfying in ways I can’t fully describe. I want to experience the feeling as often as possible. Shopper’s high is no joke. It’s real, it’s palpable, and it’s addictive.

Shopping got me into a lot of trouble. In just 12 years I ran up more than $100,000 in consumer debt—most of it on credit cards. Eventually, all of it came crashing down and nearly took me with it. Thankfully, that crisis became the catalyst to turn my life around.

It took 13 years to repay all of the debt. I learned a lot about myself in the process but mostly that the satisfaction I got from shopping was short-lived. It was fake because it vanished in less time than it took me to get the stuff to the car. But that just set me up to do it again and again because the small bursts of joy I got from shopping were worth the pain that always followed.

Crazy I know, but absolutely true. I could so easily go back to my old ways, and that’s scary …


2019 Holiday Gift Guide — Best Ideas for Grandparents

As gifting opportunities go, the biggest one of all is just around the corner. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my readers are feeling somewhat stressed, even panicked. Last-minute shopping has a way of doing that, especially when you have no idea when it comes to grandparents and seniors on your list.

Gifts for grandparents don’t always require a trip down memory lane. Today’s grandparent is more likely to be tapping out e-mail than pounding away on a typewriter (google it 😂).

So with that in mind, here are some of my best gift ideas for grandparents that are sure to delight Nanas and Papas everywhere whether this is their first year on the job or old pros by now—even those who are hard-to-buy-for.

It’s true that when giving a gift, it’s the thought that counts. Today, put some extra thought into your gifts for grandparents. It will come back to bless you many times over❣️


2019 Holiday Gift Guide — Mary’s Favorite Things

If you woke up this morning with a sense of panic realizing there are just two weeks left until Christmas, let me offer some sweet relief—a compilation of my favorite things that I have purchased from my own money, with all details updated and now gathered into one convenient place.

You’re about to discover that my favorite things are mostly practical, which could explain why I prefer practical gifts. A new vacuum for Christmas? I’d be thrilled and delighted. All that to say that no doubt, My Favorite Things seriously reflect that personal bias.

Enjoy! Love, xo m 🎄 🎁 ❣️


2019 Holiday Gift Guide—Best Gift Ideas for KIDS!

Yesterday was so much fun—a kind of kick-off to Christmas around our house! Our grandsons Eli and Sam opened the first window on their respective Advent Calendars, which sadly have nothing to do with the true meaning to advent, but a topic for another day. Back to those calendars—so cute with a tiny toy in each window.

As I sat there enjoying the boys excited anticipation, it hit me. WHAM! Christmas is fewer than four weeks away.

I’m not pointing this out to send you into a state of panic—actually I am trying hard to avoid that for myself.

I’m telling both of us so we can make the most of the time we have to enjoy every moment of this beautiful season.

Should you find the names of kids on your shopping list—kids of all ages from newborn and up, today I have Gift Guides for you: Best Gift Ideas for KIDS and Best Gift Ideas for Learning Toys.

I think you will enjoy the fact that everything on these lists, while super fun to play with, is interactive requiring the child to think, create, and problem solve. All are super affordable, too. And of course my personal favorite toy is in the line-up. Honestly, I could play Rush Hour all day long and never get tired of it. OK enough about me. 😂

See you there… Love, m xo

P.S>Be on the lookout for more 2019 Gift Guides, coming right up.


2019 Holiday Gift Guide—Best Learning Toys

Learning toys do more than sit there and entertain—they stimulate and teach kids important skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, logic, and even coding. Learning toys—open-ended games, kits, toys, and crafts—make for great Christmas gifts. To help you get past the shock of realizing Christmas is fewer than four weeks away, here’s my list of the best learning toys. I love […]


Smart Gifts for College-Bound Grads and Young Professionals

Although my grandsons are still quite young, I’m keeping this excellent reader tip handy for when they graduate from high school. What a great idea!     “When our grandchildren started graduating from high school and heading off to college, we wanted to give them money each month during their first year. So in their high school graduation card […]


Here are the Best Headphones for Every Budget and Kids, Too

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 […]


Gifts to Thrill and Delight Coffee Snobs

Even if you aren’t one, chances are pretty good you know someone who is a bona fide coffee snob. That’s because unmitigated devotion to coffee has reached epic proportions in the past few years. For these folks, nothing says “I care” more than a gift that affirms said snobbery and love for truly great coffee. I […]


Chromebook Laptops Better Than Ever—Cheaper, Too!

Only a few months ago, I told you about what was happening in the world of Chromebook—a laptop computer that runs Chrome OS as its operating system and is designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet. That in fact, Chromebooks had just (and for the first time in the U.S.) outsold Apple’s […]


The $150 Starter Kitchen

Know anyone getting ready to move into their first apartment? Whether it’s a  recent college grad, newlyweds or maybe it’s you … outfitting the kitchen can be a daunting, albeit essential, task. And it can get expensive. The problem is that as long as that kitchen sits idle, someone will be spending a lot of money […]


16 Gifts College Students Want

Stressed out because you just don’t know what to give that 20-something or college student on your holiday gift list? Well, stress no more. I’ve got you covered with 16 great gift ideas that are sure to please and fit your budget, too.    A college student gift doesn’t have to be complicated, whether it’s […]


16 Totally Awesome Gifts for Teens Under $16

Finding the perfect gift for teen boys and girls is almost impossible. Teenagers like what they like. Funny thing. I’m kinda’ the same way. So what do teens like? Here are sixteen ideas. Before you read on, make sure you have your sense of humor handy. This Gift Guide for Teens is nothing if not a […]