Christmas gift ideas

Repost – Holiday Gift Guide: Foodies

Holiday Gift Guide: Foodies

I never thought I’d become a foodie. I attribute that to Michael and his influence. Foodies are picky and they usually like kitchen gadgets, or things to inspire them in the kitchen. Here’s a short list of some of my new favorites.

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Global Knives– I never had nice knives on my own. I had that $30 knife set that you buy at Walmart or Target. It worked well enough for me. When I moved in with Michael the first thing to go to Goodwill was the dull, old knife set. Not just because it was old but because it was pretty worthless. AND Michael had an amazing set of Global Knives. These things are amazing and beautiful. They are such a pleasure to use in the kitchen too. Worth the money for sure.

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Baking Rack-Give a foodie some utensils and maybe they’ll reward you with some freshly baked cookies! Most people don’t have a lot of counter space. These stacking racks are perfect for that.

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Baking Trays-I don’t think you can have “too many” baking trays. I use mine a lot for like everything. Michael uses them for bacon. I use them for roasting veggies, making cookies, toasting nuts…it’s nice to have nice, new ones too.

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Kitchenaid Mixer-I used to be one of those people that scoffed at Kitchenaid Mixers. I just didn’t see the point. I was old-fashioned. I made cookies, brownies, cake all by hand. Michael had wanted one of these for years and finally got one. Wow! What a difference. It’s so much easier and faster to make things in the kitchen when you don’t have to hand mix everything. Love this baby.

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Pizza Peel-I wrote a post on How to Rock Homemade Pizza and in it I recommended a few pizza gadgets. A pizza peel is a must. It works great for transferring pizza dough.

Pizza Stone-Worth the investment if you’re making pizza at home.

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Digital Thermometer-A few years ago I got Michael one for Christmas. It was by far one of the best kitchen tools we owned. Since we were both reformed vegetarians, neither of us really knew how to cook meat. We especially didn’t know how to cook meat without overcooking it. This taught us both how to be better cooks.

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The Joy of Cooking-When I moved out on my own at age 19 my dad gave me this book as a birthday present. I love the book for sentimental reasons. But it’s also a good guide for newbies. Besides recipes (basic ones and advanced ones) there’s instruction on HOW to cook too. Useful!

Finally, I really want some of this lady’s books:

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I’m both intrigued and intimidated by Julia Child’s cooking. Someday I will buy her books and muddle my way through them!

QUESTION: What are your favorite foodie items? What’s on your wish list?

Holiday Gift Guide: Swimmers

Holiday Gift Guide: Swimmers

It’s that season! The season of shopping. If you’re like me and hate big crowds– avoiding Black Friday like I’ll get the Bubonic Plague if I go–head to the internets! I love Amazon shopping.

If you have a swimmer in your life, or want to become one yourself, here are some great gift ideas to start out with.

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Swimming Buoy–I love my buoy! It’s a great tool to have for swimming laps. It helps develop your upper body AND it can give your lower body a rest after some hard laps.

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Swimming Paddles— These are also great for developing upper body strength. The paddles are also wonderful tools for beginners learning how to freestyle. Wearing paddles helps you improve your form (and stop slapping your hands into the water).

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Swimming Cap–I never swim without my cap. It protects my hair from the chlorine damage and keeps my hair out of my eyes. It’s so useful for people with long hair!

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Swimming Goggles–They really do make the experience so much nicer. I see people swimming laps in the pool without them and they just look miserable. I don’t know how they do it without goggles.

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Nose Clips–I never swim without mine!

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Swimming Flippers–Some people really love swimming with fins and a snorkel. Give it a try if you want to. Make sure your ankles are pretty strong before using flippers or you could experience some discomfort.

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Swimming Drills–This book intrigues me. I haven’t read it yet but I kinda want it for myself! I do my own drills in the pool. I have a base routine and then make up drills for myself. But if you’re a newbie and not sure what to do, having a guide is a good idea.

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Lap Computer–This thing looks cool. “The Pool-Mate will record and display lap count, time, average strokes per lap, speed, distance, calories and efficiency. The computer has enough memory to store and recall up to 400 sessions, and will record the same data for individual sets within a session (up to 99 sets) so you can evaluate performance changes across a session.” Dear Santa: I kinda want this! 🙂

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Anti-Fog Spray–I hate it when my goggles fog up!

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Swimsuit–Having a good swim suit makes a world of difference. Make sure you get one that will last. Those cheapy ones you can buy in most department stores will not last long for a lap swimmer. Soon they will be faded, stretched out and maybe even see-through!

As you can see there are TONS of really great gifts out there for the swimmer in your life and they will be forever grateful for new toys to play with in the pool. Happy shopping!

QUESTION: What’s your favorite swimming item?