Category Archives: Food Gifts

Are Your Elderly Parents Eating Properly?

Whew!  It’s finally over, the holiday season that is.  Now the grind of winter begins with the light at the end of the tunnel (in the form of spring) almost too far away to see.  We all settle in to our “winter routines” and tend to go about our own business with blinders on due largely to family demands and cabin fever.  Unfortunately, during these isolated winter months, we tend to forget…perhaps “forget’ is too harsh a word…we tend to neglect…no, that’s worse than “forget”…we tend to overlook our aging parents, especially if we’re separated by distance.  And these gray, dreary, chilly winter months are probably when they need us more than any other time of the year.

As your parents go back to their homes after the holidays, they too fall into their winter routine and that routine could include poor nutrition.  In a recent study, it was discovered that 65% of elderly patients who visited an emergency room were either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition (read about it here: https://caregiver.com/articles/why-seniors-dont-eat/ ).  The reasons why seniors don’t eat properly are myriad: from loss of appetite, to dental issues, to side effects from meds, to being on a fixed income, to no desire to cook for one or two, to loss of taste and/or smell, to depression, to difficulty accessing a grocery store just to list the most common.

So now it’s time for you to re-pay your parents for all the years of love, care and affection they showered upon you as you grew from child to adult, whether they ask for it or not (because many seniors are too proud to ask for assistance).  Remember when mom (no, I’m not a closet sexist here, just referring to the most common dynamic) prepared all those meals for your family and ensured you got all the nutrition your growing body and mind required?  Of course you do, it’s usually one of our fondest memories.  Well, now it’s time to return the favor by checking up on them on a regular basis, again, whether they request it or not.  And part of checking up involves ensuring that their nutritional needs are being met, among many other things, but that’s a subject for another post.

If you discover that your senior parents are not eating properly, then the first step is to figure out why this is the case.  You may need to enlist the help of a doctor to figure this out.  If that’s the case, then, by all means, enlist the help of a doctor.  After all, mom carried you around for nine months, birthed you and then the two of them created the person you see in the mirror.  Once you determine the cause, then, more than likely, MagicKitchen.com can assist you in rectifying the situation, especially if you cannot be there to prepare meals for your parents on a daily basis.

Look, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know I tend to be a jokey jokester, but not in this case.  We here at MagicKitchen.com take senior nutrition quite seriously and that’s reflected in the care we take in preparing and shipping meals to them and all our customers.

We offer a variety of delicious, nutritious and customizable senior meal programs, to include: gourmet, diabetic, dairy free, gluten free, low carb, and low sodium.

Our professional chefs use the freshest ingredients, with no preservatives, that they cook in small batches and then flash freeze to lock in freshness.  Your parent’s custom ordered meals are then quickly packaged in dry ice and then shipped to their door as often as you desire.  All that’s required of them (or you) is to heat the meal up in either the stove or microwave and enjoy!  This way, they have access to healthy meals that meet all their nutrition requirements without having to travel to the grocery store.  Also, there’s no preparation, cooking or cleaning up required and you get to be the good son or daughter!

Sound good?  Check it out here: https://www.magickitchen.com/meal-programs.html

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Less Than a Week: How MagicKitchen.com Gift Certificates Saved my Derrière

Disclaimer: This is a tale of fiction.  Names, characters, places and businesses (except MagicKitchen.com, obviously), events and incidents are either products of the author’s (very limited) imagination or are used in a fictitious manner.  Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.  The author also apologizes for the unnecessary, unjustified and liberal use of hyphenated words.

There I was, on the 18th with under a week to go until that jolly old elf squeezes his fat arse down the chimney (don’t you hate those kids who ask how Santa delivers presents to houses without chimneys…He comes through the door…duh!).  As usual, I was in the home stretch running well behind the pack and was fading fast.  My procrastination knew no bounds and I was in serious trouble.  What the hell was I going to get my busy neighbor who always seemed to find the time to mow my front lawn or shovel the walk?…which wracked me with guilt…no, not really.  And what was I going to get my snowbird in-laws who were going to very temporarily migrate back to Hartford for a few days?

So I did what any self-respecting, Office Space-loving, cubicle-bound, under-paid, even more under-appreciated, over-worked, immensely-bored office worker would do.  I conducted some online shopping when I was supposed to be fixing code.  And what I discovered froze my heart, as it did at this exact time last year.  Apparently, unless I wanted to pay extra (and by “extra” I mean a crap-ton) for expedited shipping, my heart-felt purchases would not reach my recipients or myself in time to place in them in Big Red’s bag.  What’s a God-fearing procrastinator to do?

Fortuitously, my next-door cubicle prisoner heard me bang my head off the keyboard in frustration and resignation and did the office chair shuffle into my cubicle where we briefly played office chair bumper cars.  After our sophomoric behavior, Kevin informed me and extolled the virtues of a gourmet food delivery service called MagicKitchen.com.  We then visited their newly remodeled website and discovered, to our amazement, that they offered gift certificates that, once purchased, could be emailed to either the purchaser (me) or the grateful recipient (guilt-inducing neighbor and octogenarian snowbirds).  https://magickitchen.com/gift/gift-certificates.html

“Are you freaking kidding me?” Kevin and I exclaimed in cubicle-mate unison.  There was zero pressure to choose the proper meals as I had zero-idea what they would be.  I simply purchased a $100 gift certificate for Randy, Liz, little Randy and Paige next door (that should cover a year’s worth of mowing and shoveling, right?) and a $250 one for the in-laws (that should cover 15 years of making me feel inadequate, worthless and not good enough for their daughter, right?).  They could then visit MagicKitchen.com and choose from their impressive selection of entrees, sides, soups and desserts, to include dietary restrictions, and then wait, in eager anticipation, for the delicacies to arrive at their door.  Heck, MagicKitchen.com would even inform them of the balance remaining on their gift card.

Kevin and I also realized that I could have these gift certificates emailed as late as Christmas Eve and me, wanting to uphold my status as Crown Prince of Procrastinators, went back to playing Candy Crush until quitting time.

So that’s the story of how I discovered the perfect Christmas gift for both last-minute shoppers and foodies alike.  Thanks MagicKitchen.com!  And as I logged off with happy zeal, I exclaimed, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good meal…from MagicKitchen.com, that is.”

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Give the Gift of Flavor and Convenience this Holiday Season

Got a busy person or family on your Christmas list? Don’t know what to get them?  Well, since you’re reading this post, you certainly know that we here at MagicKitchen.com have the solution to your gift giving problem…snuggies!  You know, that fleece blanket/pajama thing that was popular a few years…oh wait, we don’t sell snuggies here, we sell flavorful and nutritious meals and that is, of course, the solution to your gift giving conundrum.

You know the type of mega-busy person or family on your list…they’re like the Tasmanian Devil, always in motion, spinning (hopefully without the slobbering or animal noises) from one thing to the next, whether it’s work, or the gym, or Tommy’s soccer practice, or Mary’s clarinet lesson, or a family function, or on an envious vaca, or yoga class, or shopping, or God knows where.  And on their way from one event to the next, they probably stop at a fast food joint for a fine dinner of greasy burgers, chicken-like nuggets, sodium drenched fries, and sugar-filled and caffeinated soda.  Help them stop the madness!  Give them the gift of delicious and nutrient dense meals (not snuggies) from MagicKitchen.com.

Most people feel juuuuuust a bit guilty either eating fast food themselves or feeding it to their children.  Its primary appeal isn’t its low cost or taste, but its convenience.  It’s food that’s prepared and presented extremely fast, hence the name, that can be consumed quickly, without the bothersome use of silverware.  However, its nutritional value leaves, shall we say, something to be desired.  Well, guess what?  Go ahead, guess.  Seriously, make a guess.  Yeah, I was never a fan of the “guess what?” question either.  I mean, what am I guessing?  At least give me some choices…but I digress.

The answer to my lame “guess what?” query is that MagicKitchen.com is just as convenient as fast food, perhaps even more so as we will deliver fully cooked, delectable and nutritious meals straight to your gift recipient’s door.  All that’s required of the recipient is to heat up the meals (instructions included) and serve, either in the recyclable containers provided or on grandma’s flatware…your choice.  What the **** could be more convenient than that?  And those pangs of guilt?…gone!

And if the busy person on your list has specific dietary needs, we’ve got that covered too…diabetic and dialysis friendly, low fat, low sodium, low carb, dairy free, gluten free…told you we’ve got it covered.   More examples of having everything covered: we also offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, meal packages, desserts, sides, soups, snacks, single-person meals, family meals, an a la carte menu, single gift certificates and group gift certificates to which others can contribute.

So, give the busy person or family in your life the gift of both flavor and convenience this holiday season, oh yeah, and the gift of guilt relief as well, with delicious and nutritious food delivered right to their door from MagicKitchen.com (save the snuggie for another occasion).

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MagicKitchen.com: The Ultimate Holiday Stress Reliever.

Let’s begin this post by discussing the primary causes of stress for most people during the upcoming holiday season.  After researching these causes on numerous and varied sites on the internet machine, from women’s magazines (apparently, men do not suffer from holiday induced stress as none of the articles I read were located on men’s magazine sites) to health sites, I think I can sum them up in one word…”too.”  That one short word that is often confused with its even shorter homophonic buddy, “to,” was the most common word I encountered during my virtual travels.

When Americans are asked why they feel increased levels of stress during the period from Halloween through New Year’s Day, invariably, the word “too” is used multiple times in their responses.  Too much shopping to do, too much travel, I spend too much money, too many parties, too much entertaining, too much cooking, too much work, too much time with family, stores are too crowded, I eat and drink too much, I’m too exhausted, I’m too hungover, I gain too much weight, my expectations are too high…you get the point.  Well, we here at MagicKitchen.com have a way to keep your stress at a manageable level.

For those of you out there who claim the holidays involve too much shopping, too much entertaining and too much cooking, let us take the all those “toos” out of your world (for some reason, spell check wanted to change “toos” into “toes” and that would totally change the meaning, don’t you think?).  MagicKitchen.com allows you to shop for your holiday meals from the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas while enjoying your favorite latte (and avoid those crowds at the mall and grocery store that are way too big.) Simply peruse our special Thanksgiving meal section or visit our a la carte or complete meal menus and make your selections for whatever holiday shindig (how, exactly, is “shindig” a synonym for “party?” The English language is weird.) you’re hosting or attending.

Our certified chefs will then do all the cooking for you using the freshest ingredients…so much for too much cooking.  Next, your meal will be flash frozen to lock in freshness and taste, packed in dry ice and then delivered right to your door.  Imagine, an entire meal of a whole turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, rolls, veggies and desert delivered to your front door…one less thing to be stressed out about.

All that’s required of you is to then place our (now your) delicious food in your freezer until the big day and then simply heat it up and serve it to your guests…no mess, no stress.  You have now freed up time in your busy holiday schedule to spend as you desire.  We would suggest you use that time to relax, binge watch your favorite show (Stranger Things seems to be the series du jour right now), spend time with family, learn a new language (ok, that might be a stretch), get outside, grab a movie, tell your friends about MagicKitchen.com (see how I slipped that in there?), read, or engage in your favorite stress reliever.  So there you go, we’ve just removed a couple “toos” from your holidays.

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A Tale of Two (Thanksgiving) Dinners

It was the best of dinners, it was the worst of dinners, it was the age of entertaining, it was the age of cooking, it was the epoch of presentation, it was the epoch of preparation, it was the season of isolation, it was the season of socialization, it was the autumn of family, it was the autumn of folly.

A man, let’s call him Tim, realized that it was late October and thus, was time to begin the laborious process of planning to host his family for Thanksgiving dinner and he began to despair.  He loathed the hours he was about to spend planning, shopping for, preparing and, most of all, cooking the family feast.  For it was the cooking that relegated him to the loneliness of the kitchen while his family conversed, laughed, reminisced, and reveled in each other’s company.  Yes, Tim despaired mightily.

Another man, let’s call him Roger, also noticed that the porch pumpkins had arrived in his neighborhood which meant the time of giving thanks was not too far behind.  However, he did not despair, instead, he rejoiced.  He rejoiced because it meant his far-flung family would soon converge upon his home and he would be immersed in the warmth that is his family, if only for a short time.  Roger would spend little time planning, shopping for, preparing or, best of all, cooking his dinner of thanks.  For you see, Roger, years ago, had discovered a way to host his large family for Thanksgiving while spending every precious moment in their company.

Tim, days after the trick or treaters rang his doorbell and accepting of his fate, began preparations for the fourth Thursday of November.  He counted the confirmations, planned the menu, and then trudged to the local, oversized supermarket to play grocery cart bumper cars with soccer moms, octogenarians, and other work-from-home dads.  He, as always, purchased the staples: a frozen bird, potatoes, rolls, corn, green beans, pumpkin and apples pies, and canned, gelatinous cranberry jelly.

Roger, days after moving all the time-keeping devices in his home back an hour, began his preparations for turkey day by turning on college football, grabbing his laptop and logging on to MagicKitchen.com.  He then browsed their extensive Thanksgiving menu, located and purchased everything his family requested, from appetizers to apple pie.  This simple process took him a total of 30 minutes, but 15 of those minutes was spent yelling at the TV as his alma mater was losing once again.

When the Pilgrim’s favorite holiday finally arrived, Tim just wanted to get it over with, rather than enjoy it.  He got up at 6:00 AM, after imbibing a bit too much the night before, to baste and shove the bird in the oven and then began to prepare the sides, to include mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.  By the time the guests arrived, he was exhausted, still slightly hung-over and began to resent the very kitchen he had so loved after it was remodeled.  That resentment stemmed from the fact that he was trapped in that kitchen along with the new granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and Italian tile floor, cooking for the family whose company he so enjoyed.

A few days prior to Thanksgiving, Roger’s entire meal from MagicKitchen.com arrived at his door, fully cooked and flash frozen.  He then placed it in his freezer until just prior to feast time.  Next, he simply heated it to the necessary temperature and then served it, buffet style, to his guests.  Prior to that, he spent his day conversing with his siblings and parents, playing board games with his nieces and nephews and watching football with his dad and father-in-law, and a grand time was had by all.

The moral of the story: ‘tis better to spend time with family and friends on Thanksgiving then to spend time with kitchen appliances.

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It’s time to Plan Your Christmas Dinner…Let us Help.

Our Moist, Succulent Roasted Turkey Slices
Our Moist, Succulent Roasted Turkey Slices

Every father is known for conveying little nuggets of wisdom to their children.  You know, those short little sayings they stole from someone (most likely their own fathers) or created on the spur of the moment.  Short, pithy witticisms such as, “If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.” or “Sometimes you gotta eat crap…like having dinner at your in-law’s house for the first time.”  or “Adolescent boys are as stupid as a bag of hammers.  What?…no, they don’t get any smarter, but if you’re lucky you’ll find one that works the way it’s supposed to.”

So what does this have to do with your upcoming Christmas feast?  Well, it’s tied to one of the many words of wisdom imparted to me by my father.  Being a spontaneous youth, my dad often said to me, “Even a trip to the frickin’ latrine requires some planning.”  In other words, just about everything you do in life, if you’re going to do it correctly (even in the “frickin’ latrine”) requires some degree of planning beforehand, and your Christmas dinner is no different.

Chicken ana Luisa
Chicken ana Luisa

If you’re going to prepare, cook and present it yourself, then the planning required can seem endless…clean and decorate the house, make the menu, list the ingredients needed, hit the grocery store, prep the food…and on and on it goes.  Well, we here at MagicKitchen.com can certainly eliminate some of that work with just a bit of prior planning on your part (yeah, you’re on your own with the whole cleaning and decorating your house thing).

Think of all the time and aggravation you’ll save if you let our dedicated and trained chefs prepare and cook some or all of your Christmas meal for you.  The entire meal will then be delivered to your door, fully cooked, to be stored in your freezer until the big day when it simply needs to be heated and served.  We offer full-meal packages that serve from one to six and include all the traditional favorites, from turkey to stuffing to gravy to rolls to green beans to pumpkin pie, along with

Crab Cakes, the crabbiest ever.

new specials such as Beef Wellington Dinner,   Crab Cake Dinner,    Chicken Ana Luisa Dinner or Chicken Parmigiana Dinner.

We also offer packages of “just sides” if you would prefer to cook your own bird with your father’s special recipe or have another entrée in mind.  And we also offer the inverse…you can add your own sides and we’ll take care of the turkey for you.  Or you can just order one of our delectable deserts or one or two sides.  You decide…just put a bit of planning into your decision-making process and make my dad proud.

For our entire holiday menu just go here http://www.magickitchen.com/menu/christmas.html

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Holiday Tips for Seniors

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when families come together to spend the Winter Holidays celebrating. In November, we enjoy a huge meal giving thanks for the truly wonderful people and things in our lives.

This is quickly followed by another family gathering complete with gift giving and delicious goodies in abundance. In spite of all the festivities, families can’t always manage to be together due to large distances, financial hindrances, or illnesses. These things certainly don’t mean our friends or families are pushed by the wayside. On the contrary, we tend to go out of our way to make loved ones feel loved, needed, and thought of during these special days.

Some of the most important people need our help the most during the Holiday Season. They are the elderly citizens of our communities. Here are some great tips and gifts for Seniors and their caregivers for the 2016 Holidays.

  1. walkingparkLooking Good, Feeling Good – We all seem to feel better when we look better. This is at any age, but it is especially true for the elderly. Gift certificates for a beauty treatment or to a barber shop can be just what is needed! Having a fresh hair cut or a beautifully coiffed style can put a spring in the step of aging family members.
  2. A Health Evaluation – This is the perfect time to really evaluate the health of your older family members. Some things to consider when determining how safe they are, include – if they are experiencing things such as memory loss or mobility problems, can they take care of themselves (i.e. bathing, eating, drinking, staying warm, etc.), can they take their medicine regularly, if they can safely drive, and how high are their spirits? Keep in mind that sometimes elderly people are reluctant to give any information letting on that they can’t handle daily life like they used to. Look for clues and signs when talking to them.
  3. Take a Load Off – Many miles can really put a strain on you when you’re concerned about your parents or senior friends. Meal time can be especially difficult. A perfect way to pitch in from across the country is by having healthy meals delivered to them. holiday-dinnerThis will enable you to feel like you’ve contributed to an important part of their day. Any meal can be delivered through MagicKitchen.com. There are many choices on the website from specialized dishes for particular dietary needs to comforting soups and delectable desserts. They will be sure to become favorites quickly.
  4. Give Great Gifts – Sometimes it is a challenge deciding what to gift to the mature members of your family or close friends. Perfect options include: meal delivery (see #3), a photo album of memories from the early days of their lives until the present, consider a clock with large numbers for the days when their eyes aren’t at peak performance, warm socks with a non-skid surface on the bottom, a bird feeder can bring many hours of delight…step out of the box and make it a hummingbird feeder.
  5. senior-man-on-laptop-smallThe Greatest Gift of All – This year, why not give the greatest gift of all to those wise, aging people in your life…the gift of your time. It can be something as simple as a phone call or a card you dropped in the mail for those miles away. Make sure to include all preparations for the festivities, as if they were going to be there with you. If these wonderful seniors are going to be joining you for the holidays, include their opinions and allow them to spend the time helping with the decorations or baking. Even if they have physical limitations, engage them in conversation and describe what you are doing. Ask them to tell the stories of their childhood at this time of year. Please, don’t forget to thank them. This will mean the world to them!

As you gather your family together this year, try to create new memories and traditions that all ages can participate in. Make sure to include some where the youngest are making memories with the oldest. These will carry in the hearts of all your loved ones for years to come. It is certainly time for our country to join together to care and love one another.

Wishing you and yours a Happy, Healthy holidays!

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For Your Christmas Gift List, Go Unique.

As you contemplate what to get your friends, family and coworkers for Christmas, why not avoid the bland, boring, perfunctory, and/or plain?  Nothing says “I refuse to put any serious thought or effort into my gift decision making process,” than a $50 gift card or a tie or cash.  This year, take a risk and go unique and that internet machine makes it easier than ever to do just that.  Simply think about the recipient of your gift and what his/her interests and hobbies are and then take it from there.  With that in mind here are a few uncommon gift ideas (in no particular order…no ranking here, within a wide price range) and where to find them.

Chicken with Artichoke and SpinachHome-delivered meals – from MagicKitchen.com of course.  They (we?) offer a variety of meal bundles such as comfort food, home-style, soup for the soul, diabetic friendly, low sodium, senior, and gluten-free just to name a few.  All you need to do is determine the needs and/or desires (in terms of food) of the recipient, visit http://www.magickitchen.com/ and take it from there.

Simulated sunrise alarm clock – An extremely appropriate gift for those that suffer with the winter blahs, aka seasonal affective disorder.  This simulated sunrise clock gradually brightens the closer it gets to your wake-up time and it offers five calming, natural sounds to wake-up to as well.  It also works in reverse, as both the light and natural sound diminish as you drift off to la-la land.  Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0093162RM/?tag=dodochristmas2016-20

Macaron making kit – NOT to be confused with the Americanized “Macaroon” (the almond-based confection), the French macaron is a to-die-for meringue-based cookie.  This kit provides the receiver with everything they need to make a variety of macarons, from “rose” to “Earl Grey” to “wasabi” (yes, I just wrote wasabi).  Check it out… http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/macaron-kit

3dpen3D writing pen — This hand-held 3D printer is perfect for the artist on your list.  It extrudes (or exudes, I’m not sure which) a warm plastic gel that hardens in a few minutes and allows the user to create works of art that have depth, height and width…hence 3D.  It comes with 50 plasta-gel refills of various colors.  Get it here:   http://www.hammacher.com/Product/Default.aspx?sku=89808&refsku=87427

642 Things to Write About – This notebook of writing prompts brings out the creative writer hiding in all of us.  It offers a series of prompts and space to pontificate.  Here’s a couple of examples: “You have been evicted from your home, but rather than live on the street you go to Ikea.  At night, you hide in the bathroom until the janitor leaves.  Write about your life.”  And “What is the sound of silence and when did you last hear it?” Read more here:  http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/642-things-to-write-about

Pac-Man video game console – This full-size arcade console will fill the owner’s home with the vintage “wocka, wocka, wocka” sound as players run from (or chase) blinky, pinky and those other two ghosts through the most famous of mazes.  The game, while a bit expensive, also comes with 12, pre-loaded classic arcade games such as Galaga, Dig Dug, and, of course, Ms. Pac-Man.  Fulfill your classic gamer’s wishes here: http://www.hammacher.com/Product/Default.aspx?sku=11801&PID=7101032&source=cj

Custom Bobblehead – Why collect bobbleheads of famous athletes when you can give any person on your list their own bobblehead?  Simply visit this site  http://www.1minime.com/ , pick a body-style (they have over 450 to choose from, such as: Scarface, a pimp, various athletes, the grim reaper, a ninja, a princess, a bride, rock star and couples too), upload a picture and they’ll take it from there.

cokemachineVintage-style Coca-Cola vending machine – This mini-fridge vending machine holds ten 12-ounce cans of your favorite beverage (not necessarily coke) and is perfect for an in-home bar, game room or the ever popular man cave.  It offers push-button vending…just remember to keep it well stocked.  https://www.sharperimage.com/si/view/product/Coca-Cola-Vending-Fridge/201599

A Listography Journal – An alternate way to journal, this series comes in a variety of titles that coerce the writer to reflect upon their life as they compile lists of their favorites and from either their present or past.  Titles include lists that deal with your favorite films, books, food, travel places, and things you’d like to do in the future.  Get writing here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1452106517/?tag=dodochristmas2016-20

Teas from around the world – Give the gift of global teas to the tea lover on your list.  It contains a set of ten tubes of loose-leaf teas from various global tea-producing areas.  Each tube makes enough tea for 6-8 cups.  The teas range in flavor from Long Jing to bancha tea mixed with roasted rice.  Read more here:  http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/tea-from-around-the-world-set

DIY Computer – For the computer geek, er, genius in your life.  This computer kit comes with everything one would need to build a computer, to include a wireless keyboard, speaker, HD screen, and PCU.  It comes with a step-by-step instruction guide and gets the owner started on coding skills and making their own apps and games.  https://kano.me/store/uk/products/kano-complete

sockMembership in the sock-of-the-month club – Usually socks, well, suck as a gift.  However, many use socks to express their individuality, and this gift certainly will help them in that endeavor.  They offer a variety of socks from traditional to quirky, from no-show to over-the-calf.  The recipient can receive one or two pair of socks every month with a new design that have never been sold before.  Learn more here:  http://www.sock101.com/sock-of-the-month-club-s/1869.htm

Bacon flavored toothpaste – Nothing says fresh breath like bacon!  For the person that just can’t get enough bacon in their life, this is the gift for them.  This 2.5 ounce tube of pork goodness will leave the taste of breakfast in the user’s mouth for hours and cause people in the vicinity to develop a strange craving for crispy bacon.  Yes, this is a real thing and here’s the proof:  https://www.offthewagonshop.com/collections/weird-funny-gifts/products/bacon-flavored-toothpaste

Star Wars BB-8 robot – Modeled after the famous robot from The Force Awakens, this smaller version reacts to commands from either a Smartphone app or its owner’s voice!  It also has autonomous behavior that permits it to wander around on its own as well as an adaptive personality that allows BB-8 to develop a unique personality through interactions with its owner.  Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Sphero-Star-Wars-BB-8-Droid/dp/B0107H5FJ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471962679&sr=8-1&keywords=sphero+bb8&tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20&ascsubtag=goodhousekeeping.gallery.399

wine-glassesMusical wine glasses – each glass in this set of two is actually capable of playing a note in the A-major scale.  The note it plays is dependent upon the level of wine in the glass.  Each note is clearly marked on the glass and all that’s required to get it to tone is a quick swipe around the rim of the glass with a wet finger.  A unique take on the toning bells idea, party goers can actualyl play songs which is made easier with the included downloadable sheet music.  See them here:  http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/major-scale-musical-wine-glasses-set-of-2

Wonder Woman apron – We all have a wonder woman in our life so why not let her know that with this colorful kitchen accessory.  It might not improve her cooking skills, but she’ll definitely look better (if that’s possible) while working on those meals.  Peruse it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00541NO4E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00541NO4E&linkCode=as2&tag=tuckerheavy-20&linkId=TOPMX4MOVPHGBKZG

Mossy Oak pink camouflage duffle bag – Have a woman on your list that loves outdoor activities, like hunting or fishing, but still wants to exert her femininity?  Then this is her gift.  This 20-inch bag features the famous Mossy Oak camo accented with pink handles, zippers, shoulder and reinforcing straps.  See if it’s what she’s looking for here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009RUQC0G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009RUQC0G&linkCode=as2&tag=tuckerheavy-20&linkId=XCYP4P2VAYYGSMGE

Bluesmart carry-on luggage – With this innovative carry-on, the owner can track the whereabouts and condition of his/her bag through 3G and GPS technology.  It beams this info to a smartphone.  It also comes with a battery and two USB ports that can be used to charge a phone six times over.  This TSA approved luggage also features a water-resistant surface and a built-in scale.  Be amazed here:   https://www.amazon.com/Bluesmart-1-Smart-Carry-On-Luggage/dp/B00X5OUC1U/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=boost&srs=12034488011&ie=UTF8&qid=1447630729&sr=8-42&linkCode=sl1&tag=randallheavy-20&linkId=88e08fc43edcdb6ca1d2f6c087bbd695

stripedPlant Theatre funky veg kit – Who hasn’t wanted to grow multi-colored Swiss chard, purple carrots, red Brussels sprouts, or striped tomatoes?  Well, this kit provides its recipient with everything they’ll need to grow all of them (seeds, pots, and peat blocks).  The perfect gift for those who desire to create a psychedelic salad.  Here it is: https://www.amazon.com/Plant-Theatre-Funky-Veg-Extraordinary/dp/B00Q74B3D6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1447636639&sr=8-11&keywords=gifts&linkCode=sl1&tag=randallheavy-20&linkId=cbf9f11b0a3ae61da87481d8e45753d2

Exploding Kittens card game – this family-friendly card game bills itself as a “card game about kittens and explosions and sometimes goats.”  I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but if you’re curious you can check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/Exploding-Kittens-About-Explosions-Sometimes/dp/B010TQY7A8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=randallheavy-20&linkId=4382a5fc7f6304a38277eda570e1ff6f

There you have it…20 unique gift ideas for just about everyone on your gift list.  So please, this Christmas, take a chance and give a gift that is truly as unique as you are.  I’ll just leave you with a quote from one of my favorite Hugh Grant movies, Four Weddings and a Funeral,  “Why be boring?”  Happy Holidays!

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The Perfect Corporate Gift Idea: Healthy Meals

Business People Group Gift Box New Year Christmas Hat Corporate Present Party Holiday Flat Vector Illustration

Yes, it’s that time of year…the time to start thinking about gift ideas despite the fact that we’re still days away from Thanksgiving.  So why not combine the two things that most people enjoy about the holidays, food and gifts, by giving the gift of food?  And not just any kind of food, but healthy, delicious, chef-prepared food delivered right to your boss’ or coworker’s or employee’s or client’s door (either home or office door, your choice).  If this sounds like a great idea (and that’s because it is) then of course MagicKitchen.com can help you deliver the perfect corporate gift for the holidays.

Stuffed_BellPepperIn fact, many corporations use the holidays to give “the gift (of food) that keeps on giving the whole year” (a direct quote from Uncle Eddie in Christmas Vacation, btw).  They do so in the form of a recurring meal plan (usually lunch) for their employees.  And it’s way better than a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club that Clark Griswold received from his Scrooge-like boss.  I mean, after all, jelly isn’t a stand-alone meal.  It requires something more to spread it on, like bread, crackers, fish or Brussel sprouts…hey, try it before you go “Ewwwww!”

Also, Jelly is not exactly a healthy option.  Many corporations are providing nutritious meals to their employees as a means to create a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.  Studies have shown that workers who regularly eat a healthy lunch have increased energy, morale and productivity.  More and more companies are incorporating healthy meals into their corporate wellness programs as they tend to lower absenteeism, decrease health costs, and assist in creating a culture of health and well-being.

And if they’re given in conjunction with the holidays, a meal program can be used to thank employees for all they’ve done over the course of the previous year, as a Christmas bonus…so long as they aren’t expecting a large cash bonus which they had planned on Chicken-ana-Luisausing to put in a family swimming pool.  Because if they are and they don’t get it, they might launch into an obscenity-laced tirade in which they make the unfortunate suggestion that someone abduct their less-than-generous boss as Clark Griswold did.

So if you’re interested in sending either a one-time meal or a full meal program as a corporate gift, then simply visit MagicKitchen.com’s corporate gift page here: http://www.magickitchen.com/menu/corporate.html and give the gift of delicious and nutritious food to any and all on your corporate gift list.  However, if one of them is named Griswold you might want to go with another option.

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Send a Group Gift Certificate for Healthy Meals

How often do you look to the Internet for something to send to a friend, loved one, or co-workers when they are grieving or, perhaps celebrating? You want to show your friend you are thinking of them and that you care when they are going through difficult times.

It seems we tend to think of flowers as an appropriate gesture when someone has lost a loved one. They convey respect, love, and of course sympathy. But maybe it’s time to think outside the vase, and send healthy prepared meals instead.

date-meals2This is also true when someone is ill. In essence, they have lost the life they once knew, this can be pretty devastating. During the grieving process, self-care can get placed on the back burner. On the flip side, when celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or even the birth of a child, flowers serve as a common gift. With that said, the new parents, elderly, or college student might appreciate a different type of gift.

Take a moment to consider something to replace the standard gift basket or vase of flowers. Flowers are wonderful; beautiful to look at, but maybe the situation really calls for an alternative. Perhaps something more practical.

Sending healthy meals as a gift just might be more useful. Think of the time saved in meal planning, the grocery store run, and preparation. If someone is sick, wouldn’t it be great to send them a healthy, delicious, comforting bowl of soup?

How about giving the new parents a break and have meals ready to pop in the oven or microwave? These would definitely come in handy for parents of multiples. What do you do when there are several people who love the idea of sending meals rather than flowers? MagicKitchen.com has the answer for you in the form of group gift certificates.

Group gift certificates work especially nicely when the group of people live in various parts of the country. Send an email to everyone in the family or office, letting them know the gift certificate is available and ready to load. They each can decide whether they want to contribute and how much to give. And the person receiving the gift certificate can select what meals they like, as well as using the gift certificate for delivery charges.

date-meals1Using MagicKitchen.com’s website to do all of this takes the chore off your shoulders. These group gift certificates for meals can work essentially for all occasions when you typically give presents. New parents are learning to work on very little sleep while maintaining the rest of their chores. Friends and family members have birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and a plethora of other opportunities where a group gift certificate would be a welcome surprise. It means they get a break from the chore of cooking and can enjoy your thoughtfulness when they sit down to eat. I know I will be using this option next time the opportunity arises. Will you?

Valerie, MagicKitchen.com Blogger

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