Fun & Fabulous Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day happens on June 17th, so here are some gift ideas that I showed in my segment today on the Your Life Arizona morning showMany are sold at local retailers for good last minute ideas.  I also found some unique ones that can be ordered, so take a look at this now so you have time to get your Dad’s Day shopping done.

Unique Ideas:

*Customize something fun specific to Dad – I ordered this burnt orange T-shirt from Tee Chip for my Texas Longhorn alum hubs.  This shirt says it all and I am excited for him to see it on Father’s Day as I think it is perfect, comfortable, fun and this theme fits him perfectly! 

I ordered this from Tee Chip for $26.95 and I had no issues with the company, but I found a lot of reviews that complained of long shipping delays, so please note that I only ordered from Tee Chip once and had no problems, but others did.  You could do something similar for the father you are shopping for with his alma mater printed like this one with other customized gift companies.  I found a ton of companies that do this kind of stuff online.  Or go to one of the As You Wish locations and create something like this there on a mug, etc.

*Make Dad a customized drink kit – Pair his favorite coffee, tea and/or scotch, whiskey, etc. in a basket and add the HyperChiller(sells at site for $29.99).The HyperChiller turns any beverage into a perfectly cooled drink in one minute without ever touching ice.

Photo of this cool device, that is a perfect Dad’s Day gift is from the HyperChiller website.

With the HyperChiller’s simple multi-chamber design, a beverage is exposed to the equivalent of over 30 large ice cubes.  The drink is then protected by two layers of food grade stainless steel.  This way there’s zero dilution in the process of cooling. Just leave it in your freezer, then take it out, pour your beverage in (coffee, wine, spirits etc.) and the HyperChiller will rapidly chill it in just one minute. This handy device can be used several times in a row.  When done, place back in the freezer to use again later. It’s compatible with all brewing methods and even fits directly into most full-size single cup brew.   

*Make Dad a Manly Spa Basket – Place his favorite soaps, shaving products, a nice bath robe and more in a specialty spa kit for him!  Add slippers, a gift card for a massage, a bottle of wine, healthy herbal teas or a gift card to a spa store.  I kept mine simple, as you can see below…Olba’s Herbal Remedies Olbas Oil and Olbas Inhaler is included in my gift basket for a good massage oil and inhaler that helps to clear sinuses.  The oil is great for massage and I like the Olba brand because it doesn’t smell feminine, making it perfect for Dad.  Olbas originated in Switzerland over 100 years ago and is made with a blend of six essential oils including peppermint oil, wintergreen oil, oil of cloves, juniper oil, eucalyptus oil and cajeput oil.  The Olbas Herbal Remedies Aromatherapy Inhalant and Massage Oil .95 fluid oz bottle sells for $19.95 here.

*Camping Gift Kit – Create a basket with camping items. Pack with his favorite camping essentials and his tried and true camping faves.  Other ideas are…

 

*Yoshi Copper Grill & Bake Mats ($9.99 for a 2-pack sold at amazon, Walmart, Walgreens) — Give the dad who likes to grill these handy mats that enabling grilling without the food falling through the grate.  Foods still have grill marks, too.  The mats still must be cleaned, but not the grill.  Perfect for the camping gift kit and for an outdoor or cooking/grilling themed gift.

*iHome Drop Splashproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with Speakerphone – I paid $24.99 for this at Walgreens, BUT I found it for only $11.99 at Groupon.com so definitely check that site for Dad’s Day gift savings.  That is 50% savings.  This handy contraption pairs with your smart device to provide a wireless speaker and speaker phone.  It is splash proof, so it works by the pool (not immersed, though), in the shower and out in the rain.  A great gift to pair with a camping kit.

*The Mini Fire Fighter product.  I do want to say that I haven’t personally tried this product, so I haven’t tested it myself.  So do keep a fire extinguisher on hand.  Check out what this compact user-friendly aerosol firefighting product does.  It is safe, easy to use and tested to EU and USA standards. Mini Firefighter is an essential safety tool to have around the home, the car, in the caravan, near the BBQ, in the toolbox, on the boat or in fact anywhere there is a risk of a fire.  Mini Firefighter is non-toxic, non-irritant and biodegradable which can be used with care in confined spaces.  It’s high cooling capacity forms a stable, heat resistant seal which suffocates the fire stopping re-ignition and turning fat and oil into a soapy mixture.

Picture from the Mini Firefighter website.

Mini firefighter is also easy to clean up as the foam dissolves after use.  I think all households should have this on hand and it makes for a fun and smart addition to Dad’s Fun Thank You-Do-It all gift basket!  The 8.45 oz can sells for $19.50 here.

Last Minute Easy to Get Gift Ideas

These items are sold at some drug stores, Amazon and other local retailers, so this is stuff that you can grab last minute locally…

*Jumbo Moscow Mule Mug ($10.99 at Walgreens) – Moscow Mule cocktails continue to be all the rage and my husband loves to make these, so I got him this fun jumbo sized one for Dad’s Day!  Pair with the ingredients needed to make a mule and this makes a fun gift basket idea. 

*Crafted Imports Bar Set – ($12.99 at Walgreens) – This is great alone or pair with the fun jumbo Moscow Mule mug.

*I know a HERO**I call him DADDY block sign – ($9.99 at AJ’s Fine Foods) – This sweet red, white, blue and yellow sign is a block that can sit on his desk or can be hung on the wall.  A great one from a child to Daddy.

*Crafted Imports Golf Pens ($9.99 at Walgreens) – Pair this set of three golf club shaped pens with a golf store gift card.  Perfect!

*Why A Daughter Needs A Dad & Why A Son Needs A Dad little mini books – ($5.99 each at AJ’s Fine Foods gift section) – These precious little mini books include passages like, “A daughter needs a dad so she will know what it feels like to be somebody’s favorite.”  The son book includes touching phrases like, “A son needs a dad to let him be his equal now and then.”  These little books melt my heart and I bet they will melt a father’s heart, too.

*Hallmark All Star Grandpa Baseball ($9.99 at Walgreens) – Ten bucks and fun alone or if you want to go big, give this to Grandpa along with tickets to a major league baseball game! 

*Signature Greeting Cards Best Dad Ever with removable koozie – Check stores that sell greeting cards for this fun one that includes a koozie.  Pair with his favorite beer and your gift is all set.  I found this card for $8.99 at Walgreens.

*Grasslands Road I Love That You’re My Dad Frame ($17.99 at AJ’s Fine Foods) – Beautiful ceramic/metal frame that fits a treasured 4 x 6 picture for Dad.  This is a great one for the sentimental Dad or Grandpa who loves photos.

*Hallmark Super Dad Trophy ($9.99 at Walgreens) – Perfect from a kid to a Dad this cute trophy has the father wearing a cape. 

Did I list any ideas that fit the father in your life?  I am wishing all a Happy Dad’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overnight Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal in Mason Jars

Here is a cool holiday breakfast idea for your guests.  Make pumpkin spice oatmeal the night before.  Prepare in individual mason jars that can be simply set out in a breakfast buffet the next morning, warm or cold. oatmeal-doneoatmeal-closeSuch a fun, festive and flavorful idea with a recipe that is healthy clean eating.  And some house guests may crave a nutritious breakfast the day after the high calorie Turkey Day.

I found this delightful and super easy recipe from my favorite meal planning site, MealGarden. I especially like MealGarden because the recipes are clean and healthy with a wide variety.  I did add a few extras to the original recipe.  My version is shown below in this how-to video.  So easy and so festive.  Take a look…

 

The original recipe can be found at MealGarden. Thank you to MealGarden for allowing me to experiment with this recipe and share it on my blog!  Enjoy and happy holiday pumpkin everything season!

 

Quick, Easy & Inexpensive Halloween Make It Yourself Mask Idea

Sometimes it’s what’s behind the mask that gets attention.  I love sharing cool ideas that I see other moms brainstorm.  I saw just that this morning in my Sunday school class.  One of my students was very excited to show me her Tweety Bird mask that her mother crafted for her. I love the front of the mask.  Very cute!  Now check out the smart idea that is behind the mask. mask-onThat really got my attention.  How clever is this?! I would have never thought of this great idea.  She used an old pair of sunglasses to secure the mask to her daughter’s face.  This is much better than flimsy string that can break or an elastic band that can snap back and sting.sunglass-backThe old sunglasses, with the lens removed, fit the mask perfectly and it stays on snug.  I tried it on and it is lightweight and comfortable.  Plus the mask, constructed with a paper plate, is inexpensive and easy to make. I asked Lisa, my mom friend, if I could share this idea on my blog.  I think it is so clever.  So if you need a last minute costume idea, make a mask of your choice and secure it on the face with an old pair of sunglasses. So smart!

Happy Halloween out there.  Be safe!

Celeb Loved Jewelry Line, Wonderful Wine Accessory, Personalized Healthy Herbal Tea Line & More Mother’s Day Gift Ideas!

Check this out to see my favorite fitness tool, a wine carafe that keeps wine chilled, a hot jewelry line that is a celeb fave and more in my Mother’s Day gift ideas TV morning show segment.  This is part 2 that follows part 1 that I ran yesterday.  Mother’s Day is coming so get ready with these ideas…

4 Delicious Ingredients that Multitask for Easy Holiday Cooking

Manic:  Figuring out how to cook smart when making the big holiday meal so that we can get out of the kitchen to spend precious time with family and friends.

Managed: Using these four ingredients that include Shamrock Farms Half & Half, Zesty Jalapeno Sour Cream (yum), Shamrock Farms Calcium Plus Milk and eggnog to make multiple recipes.  This also frees up that much needed fridge space for leftovers since each ingredient container can make numerous recipes all in the same day.  So from breakfast to snacks to the main meal to dessert, check out these ideas that will have you working smart so you have more time for holiday cheer and less time hovering over the stove.  How about adding Zesty Jalapeno sour cream to your eggs for a little spice or making eggnog fudge for a scrumptious dessert?  These ideas and more are all here, so check this out…

 

shamrock farms nov 2014 (1) from Rachel Harris on Vimeo.

 

 

This delicious segment was sponsored by Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms foods is 100% my own. 

Keeping Kids Entertained At The Holiday Table

Manic:  Restless kids at the big holiday table resulting in stressed parents, bored kids and chaos.

Managed:  Brainstormed with the folks from Shamrock Farms and one of my gal pals about how to keep kids entertained at this holiday season’s big meal and we came up with some good stuff for parents everywhere.

It’s hard to believe that my teenagers are past this stage now, but I do remember those days!  Recently, one of my gal pals with younger children asked me for tips to keeping kids entertained at the holiday table so that they are not disruptive.  Here are a few tricks that I put to use with my son and daughter, as well as other clever ideas from my friend, Suzie.  Take a look…

*Consider a Kids Table – I know some of you want your children to learn dinner table etiquette (and I agree with that), but having a separate and nearby kids table can work well.  This way both the kiddos and the adults can converse with their own age groups about topics that all will find fun. Have their table set ahead of time with kid themed plates, holiday napkins and a drink that will make them cheer, like Shamrock Farms Chocolate Milk.

*Crafty Crafts for Festive Fun – Have a fun holiday craft ready for the children to do right after the meal.  Kids typically finish eating first, while adults may want to linger and enjoy the holiday fare and company.  Lexi gingerbread manOffering the kids pre-baked mini gingerbread cookies that they can frost and decorate to their hearts’ content gives them something fun to do while the grownups continue with dinner.

*Letters to Santa – Invite children to write a letter to Santa while they wait at the table before or after the meal.  Give them fun decorations, stickers and washable markers to decorate their note.  The letter will also make a great keepsake for the child’s scrapbook.

*Make Christmas Cups – Give the kids red or green Solo cups and materials to decorate the cup.  This becomes their drinking glass during dinner and they will be proud to show off their creation.  milkFill the finished cups with fun and festive Shamrock Farms Santa’s Choice Calcium Plus milk for their own special occasion drink.

*Older Kids Read – Ask the older children to read a holiday story to the younger kids.  And don’t forget to videotape to have this memorable record of the kids at different ages.  It goes by so quickly!

*Sing Along – Let each child select their favorite holiday tune and ask everyone at the table to sing it together.  This gets everyone in the holiday spirit and kids will love leading all in song.

*Holiday Eye Spy Game – Eye spy is a great game to keep kids engaged while also staying put.  Ask them to look for holiday themed items in the room, such as a wreath, something red and white or something sweet.

*Holiday Share – Whisper in the child’s ear to ask everyone at the table to share what they like most about the holiday.  Festive, fun and memorable.

What are your ideas for keeping kids happily busy and content at the holiday table?  Share in the comments section because we like to share ideas and help each other out when it comes to taking the manic out of the holiday season to make it more managed and enjoyable for all!

 

This article was sponsored by Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms foods are 100% my own. 

Sour Cream Banana Bread, Pumpkin Supreme & More Delicious Holiday Recipes

Three of my favorite recipes are featured in my most recent Shamrock Farms video that we filmed in my very own kitchen, so take a look to learn about Sour Cream Banana Bread, Pumpkin Supreme (my sister-in-law Stephanie’s amazing recipe from her South Texas family cookbook) and a super simple and smart breakfast idea called Sausage Breakfast Bake from my gal pal Amanda’s family.  I especially appreciate how the breakfast recipe is whipped up the night before and simply placed in the oven to bake Christmas morning.  Your company will wake up hungry so you can’t forget breakfast.  This recipe takes care of that for you.  Check it all out here…

 

 

This post was sponsored by Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms delicious foods are 100% my own. 

No More Hectic Holidays: 4 Things You Can Do Now to Streamline the Season

Manic:  Holiday planning!  Be honest: How often do you actually sit back and kick up your feet between November and January? Does the “most wonderful time of the year” feel more like a nonstop cycle of bake, clean, shop, wrap and repeat?!  Most years it does for me, especially since I had kids!

Managed:  These four tips that will get us ahead of the game!  Let’s do it and enjoy a managed, not manic, holiday season where we moms, hosts and holiday planners actually get to relax, too!

1.  Be prepared for guests. Help out-of-town guests feel at home with a welcome stocking filled with toiletries, non-perishable snacks, reading material and their favorite coffee or tea. stocking stuffAssembling everything ahead of time will free up those final precious moments for last-minute chores.  Also, keep a secret stash of snacks on hand for unexpected company. Stock the pantry with nuts, popcorn, crackers and chips, which is the perfect accompaniment for any variety of the Shamrock Farms delicious assortment of flavored sour cream.  Keeping a bottle of Shamrock Farms delicious eggnog on hand will also instantly up the festive factor of even the most casual get together.

bananabread_withpackaging

2.  Make-ahead meals. Who wants to cook after a day of battling holiday crowds? Avoid going overboard on take out by putting aside a few hours now to create make-ahead meals. Some family- and freezer-friendly options include chicken and sour cream enchiladas, Roxie’s easy lasagna  and Hungarian goulash.  (For best results, freeze the enchiladas and lasagna before baking. When ready to eat, pop the frozen dish into the oven for about 50 percent longer than the original cooking time.)

3.  Create go-to gifts. Avoid the last-minute dash for forgotten gifts by stocking up on several of one item – from candles to gourmet coffee to holiday tea towels. If you’re feeling particularly domestic, try your hand at preparing homemade vanilla extract in vintage bottles or a DIY body scrub.

My teen daughter actually made this DIY body butter.  We found the recipe online.

My teen daughter actually made this DIY body butter. We found the recipe online.

 

4.  Wrap it up. You may be weeks away from wrapping, but who needs the added stress of a midnight run for Scotch tape? Take an hour this week to take inventory of your wrapping supplies and stock up on scissors, tape, paper, tissue paper, gift tags, ribbon and bows. Keep it simple by using just one or two gift wraps for everyone on your list (it really doesn’t get much easier – or chicer – than brown craft paper wrapped in colorful twine).

Now, sit back, relax and actually enjoy all of the fabulous memories you’ve worked so hard to create. You deserve it!

 

 

This helpful holiday article was sponsored by wonderful Shamrock Farms.  My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms foods is 100% my own. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shop & Think Pink With Products That Give Back To BCA Month

Every October, I look for holiday gift ideas, and other items, that give back to Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I found some terrific and unique items, so take a look and think pink to support a good and important cause….

Time For Holiday Gift Ideas!

Manic:  The holiday season is sneaking up on us, as usual!

Managed:  Found some cool and unique gift ideas for the different personalities on your list and some of these items are personalized and can be ordered online.items hday  Do it now to avoid those costly last minute shipping fees as we get closer to December.  Here are gift ideas for all ages and for the hard to shop for person, too.  Take a look and happy holiday shopping…