Category Archives: Gift Ideas

Ten Romantic Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Yes, there actually was a St. Valentine (or perhaps two) that lived in 3rd century Italy, was associated with courtly love, martyred (maybe) and then beatified on February 14th of God only knows what year.  He and his day were then promoted by the famous 14th century English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer and now, here we are, in 2018 still celebrating what St. Valentine and Chaucer wrought.

It is now a day to celebrate love and romance that greeting card companies, rose farmers and chocolate manufactures should thank the ghost of Chaucer for promoting.  Regardless, if you’re in a relationship, this day can be fraught with danger.  And if you’re currently a free agent (unattached) it only serves to remind you of that fact.  Given the title, perhaps all the free agents out there should just skip this week’s post…

Yeah, back to that title, here are ten simple and inexpensive ideas that serve to let your significant other know that you love and appreciate them and where these ideas “lead” is entirely up to you and your partner.

Indoor picnic – Preferably at night with all the romantic fixins’…blankets, candles, rose petals, throw pillows, oh yeah, don’t forget the food and drink also.  Or “go all the way” and have a night of glamping (glamorous camping) and add an indoor tent to the evening.

Hidden reminders of love – You just need to decide on the source of the reminder from sticky love notes to Hershey Kisses, to candy hearts, to any small item that lets your partner know you’re thinking about her/him.  Hide them in coat pockets, the car, shoes, the office (may require a bit of stealth), on your pet.  And if your partner doesn’t find them all on Valentine’s Day?  Who cares, he/she will find them eventually and they will probably mean more if they’re discovered on March 14th rather than February 14th.

Mid-day get away — Steal your partner away from the office for an unexpected lunch or, dare I say, more.  You might even have a hotel room stashed around the corner.  Just give the song “Afternoon Delight” a listen prior to executing this plan.

“Our songs” playlist – Every couple has a list of “their” songs, and not necessarily romantic ones, that define their relationship, whether it’s the first song you danced to or one you both equally despise.  Quick story, I was in the process of courting my wife and we were at a local watering hole in State College, PA.  A song came on and I was certain she was clueless as to who the artist was (this is before the age of cell phones) and I bet her that she could not identify the artist and the bet did NOT involve money (use your imagination).  To my surprise, she accepted the bet and promptly went over to the DJ and asked, “Who sings this song?”  I lost the bet, but we both won in the end.  From that point forward “Escape (the Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes has been one of “our” songs.

Scary movie date night – Very similar to an indoor picnic, just with a scary movie or binge-watching episode.  Curl up on the sofa, dim the lights, pop some corn, pour some wine and bring up “It” or “Stranger Things” on the flat screen and just revel in each other’s company.

Animoto video gift – Just visit animoto.com, sign up, sign in and create your video using your own personal vids or photos while adding personalized text.  It’s a great way to make a retrospective of your relationship using old photos or videos that is sure to bring a tear to your partner’s eye.

Date night grab bag – Think of various date options, place them on cards and then place the cards in a bag or bowl.  Your partner then picks what you do for the evening…no backing out, either.  Try to avoid the normal “dinner and a movie” option.  How about visiting a jazz club or going to see a band that was popular when you both were in high school or hitting an indoor water park?  We have imaginations for a reason.  Live a little.

Plan, prepare and create – a child…no, just kidding.  That’s too easy.  A romantic dinner.  Sit down in consultation with your partner and do every step of the process together.  Plan the menu, shop for the ingredients, prepare and cook the meal, set the table and then enjoy being in the presence of your partner.

“Find me” scavenger hunt – Leave various clues for your partner as to your whereabouts, just don’t make it too difficult.  Then hide yourself wherever you like…the closet, your friend’s house, a hotel, a restaurant, a museum…you get the idea.  Then see where the evening takes you both.

Write “Our Story” – with the help of storybird.com.  You provide the words, Storybird provides the art.  You can write the entire story of your relationship or just a part of it.  The choices are only limited by your imagination.  Storybird can then create an e-version of your story or a hard copy.

There you go.  Have fun this Valentine’s Day with your partner no matter the what you decide (just stay away from chubby cherubs.  They’re kinda creepy if you ask me.)

facebooktwitterpinterest

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.”

facebooktwitterpinterest

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).

facebooktwitterpinterest

Mid-October, the Perfect Time to Start Your Christmas Shopping

When I was a much younger man, a kid actually, I used to poke fun at my mother for beginning her Christmas plans around this time of year.  She would (and still does) make a list of all the people she planned to purchase or make gifts for and then agonize over what to get them.  She would also plan out her Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and develop her guest list for each family gathering.  And there I was, the prince of procrastination, telling her to begin planning for the Fourth of July while she was at it in the most sarcastic voice I could muster.

Well, it turns out she was correct (as EVERY mother is about everything) in her October planning for a late December event.  She was always the “Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today?” type of mom and it’s a shame that if that philosophy came in apple form it fell very far from the tree in my instance.  Anyway, it wasn’t until I was a fully (ahem)mature adult that it dawned on me why mom was fully justified in her autumnal holiday planning and the reasons why she was correct are as follows:

She was the master of the spacing out of holiday spending.  For mom, the worst part of Christmas was when the credit card bills arrived in January.  To avoid that single, massively depressing January credit card bill that took damn near the rest of the year to pay off, she spread those bills out over November and December as well.  Needless to say, mom didn’t need to read last week’s blog about financial planning.  She was, and still is, the princess of pecuniary policies.

When she went shopping (the physical form of shopping which involved a car, walking from store to store in the mall, hauling the presents home, etc.) in October there was always a wide selection of “stuff” to choose from.  No matter who she was buying for, kids, dad, grandkids, co-workers, friends, relatives back in Ireland, she shopped from fully stocked shelves.

She always managed to find great deals prior to December in the form of Colombus Day, Halloween, Election Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving Day or “just for the hell of it” day sales.  She would scour the newspaper inserts in search of sales and deals that would keep her gift buying budget as low as possible and she was amazingly successful at it.  Now, you can just scour the internet machine looking for great October and November deals.

She would spend a great deal of time planning for Christmas dinner and the earlier she started this process, the smoother it would go on December 25th (unless my drunken uncle caused “issues”).  Of course, today MagicKitchen.com can eliminate a lot of that planning, prep work, and actual cooking by delivering a savory holiday dinner right to your door.  Our prepared foods also make a great gift for not just yourself, but for any busy family or senior during the holiday season.  Why not give someone the gift of time in the form of a pre-cooked Christmas dinner delivered right to their door?

Finally, and most importantly to mom, she always said that the more Christmas chores she could take care of prior to December, the more time she could spend with family and friends once the holidays arrived.  To that end, having all her shopping done prior to the start of December gave her many advantages, but the most significant to her was the time it granted her which she used to spend with the people most important to her, her family.

facebooktwitterpinterest

What Are Your Kids in College Eating?

What Are Your Kids in College Eating? Couch pizza, convenience store chili dogs, and every kind of fast food imaginable, such as fried chicken that’s more “fried” than chicken, roast beef sandwiches with enough beef to choke a starving tiger, and 1,000 calorie milk shakes…that’s the most likely answer.

But wait!  There’s more.  A recent survey found the most common dorm foods included: instant Ramen noodles, candy, instant mac & cheese, cereal, chips and microwave popcorn…and that doesn’t even include the beverages consumed like soda, those ubiquitous energy drinks and potent potables (I’m a huge Jeopardy! Fan…I’m geeky that way).

Needless to say, the above paragraph does not convey an image of nutritious eating.  But let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content of some of the above- mentioned items.

Ramen Noodles: Each package of this dried soup stock and noodles contains about, depending upon your delicious flavor selection, 380 calories, 7 grams of fat, 790 milligrams of sodium (or 33% of your recommended daily allowance), 26 grams of carbs and two flavor enhancers known as disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate.  On the bright side it does contain 8% of your rda of iron.

Microwave popcorn: A standard bag of inflatable popcorn…sidebar (I was pre-law in college for a month): remember jiffy pop and watching that silver foil magically expand on your stove top, in the era before microwaves, as the popcorn, well, popped?…and then being heartbroken when you realized it was burned?  Good times.  Anyway, a bag of nukeable popcorn has roughly 465 calories, 26 grams of fat (or 40% of your rda and some bags contain trans fat which is terrible for you), 665 milligrams of sodium (28% of your rda), and 50 grams of carbs.  The positive: 342 milligrams of potassium, 9 grams of fiber (it is corn, alter all) and 10% of your rda for iron.

Arby’s Classic Roast Beef Sandwich: Yeah, this place has the meat alright.  I decided to list the “classic” rather than the ginormous Half Pound Beef and Cheddar or the Mount Italy Sandwich to be kind.  So, this average-sized sandwich has 370 calories, 14 grams of fat (to include 5 grams of saturated fat and .5 gram of trans fat), 50 milligrams of cholesterol, and a whopping 1,150 milligrams of sodium.  And if you’re looking for protein, this is for you as it contains 23 grams.

Three pieces of KFC original recipe chicken: Ok, I’ve got to admit that this one even surprised me and I tend to pride myself about knowing nutritional information.  One breast, thigh, and drumstick combines for 800 calories, 48 grams of fat, a massive 275 grams of cholesterol (92% of your rda), and an even more massive 2,530 milligrams of sodium (or 105% of your rda).

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the items listed above are the nutritional items they lack.  Where are the vitamins and minerals?  Where are the antioxidants?  Where are the things that grow on trees, vines or in the ground?  You know where you can get those things for your nutritionally starved college student?  Yeah, you saw this one coming…MagicKitchen.com of course.  Wouldn’t it be nice if your kids in college ate healthy once a week or so?  Damn straight, it would be nice, for them and you!  And the food is so good, they’d totally forget that it’s good for them as well.  As always, we’ll deliver to just about any address, be it a dorm, apartment, frat, sorority or commune.   After all, a parent’s job never ends, even after they leave the nest.

facebooktwitterpinterest

Making your Dad Smile this Father’s Day

Your dad is unique.  You must recognize this fact before we start discussing gift ideas for Father’s Day.  Some like to fish, some like to build things, some like sports (perhaps all), some like to cook, some like the ballet, some like music (listen to or play), some like a few beers with their beer buddies.  However, almost every dad, to include yours, loves to spend time with their kids, especially if those kids are fully grown, have their own lives and/or families and live many miles away.  That being the case, perhaps the greatest gift you can give your dad this Father’s Day is some of your valuable time.

Ever since I moved away from home and started my own family, I think of Harry Chapin’s melancholy song from 1974, Cat’s in the Cradle, as Father’s Day approaches.  Of all the “likes” I listed above, none applied to my dad.  For you see, my dad liked to work…and not at home.

He was what he called a “tin knocker” aka sheet metal worker/welder and he was very good at his chosen profession (I think I related some version of this story here last year).  He would say that he didn’t “like” to work, but that he “had” to work to provide for our family.  I suspect it was a mixture of both “liked” and “had.”  Whatever it was, all I knew was that when I looked in the bleachers during my little league games or, later on, my high school and college track meets, or among the spectators lining the numerous cross country courses I ran on, I never saw my dad, not once.  And I would sadly sing that Chapin song in my mind.

However, since my dad has retired he is making up for lost time, with me as well as his grandchildren and for my part, I have gone out of my way not to “grow up just like him,” at least with regard to not spending time with my children and then growing up to not spend time with my father.  That being the case, my father, myself, and my two boys spend every Father’s Day together doing things of his choosing…so long as it’s not work.  The moral of the story: its far better to spend time than money on your dad this Father’s Day.

But there’s nothing wrong with doing both, as I usually do.  I just ensure that I don’t spend much on his gift and that I spend some time (get it) choosing a gift I know will make him smile.  Here are a few ideas that just might make your dad smile as well:

  1. What I Love About Dad by me Book – This little treasure offers 50 fill-in-the-blank prompts or sentence starters that allow you to express in your own words (sorta) what your dad means to you. You’ll be amazed how completing the prompts elicits warm fuzzy memories of your dad as you travel back through the years to recall all the things, large and small, he did for you as you grew up.  Here are a few examples of the included prompts: “I love that you taught me to appreciate ____________________.”  and “I’m glad I got your _______________________.”  Learn more here:  https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/what-i-love-about-dad-by-me-book
  2. Photo Tie – Yeah, I know, who gets their dad a tie for Father’s Day? But there are so many ways to go with this and it’s one of those gifts your dad MUST wear after receiving.  All that’s required is to upload your favorite pic of yourself (I highly recommend one that will embarrass the wearer to the utmost degree) and this company places it on that ultimate piece of fatherly apparel.  Check it out: http://www.personalcreations.com/product/Photo-Ties-30033588?prid=pcseogu&ref=PCRorganicgglunkwn&sk=&tile=hmpg_hero1&productgroup=PPHOHIM&viewpos=2&ratings=4.75540000&reviews=139&trackingpgroup=PPHOHIM
  3. (Toothpaste) Tube Wringer – My dad is an ardent skinflint, tightwad, penny-pincher…He’s cheap, OK? And when I purchased this for his last birthday his eyes had that special glint that my mom hasn’t seen in decades when he opened it and realized what it was.  One of the memories of my dad from my childhood years is of him haranguing every member of our family to roll the toothpaste tube from the bottom up in order to extract as much as possible as he, “wasn’t made of money.”  Well, this little gizmo achieved his ultimate goal.  Here you go:  http://incrediblethings.com/uncategorized/tube-wringer-for-the-last-bit-of-toothpaste/

The above are just a small sampling of the unique gifts you can find for your unique dad.  All you need to do is match the gift to the recipient and then remember, time is more valuable than any gift, especially on Father’s Day.

facebooktwitterpinterest

Gift Guide eBook for Free!

Are you looking for that perfect gift for the hard to shop for person? Check out the great ideas inside the informative eBook: Gifts for All Seasons from MagicKitchen.com. You will discover some ingenious ideas for every occasion and other special events in your life.

brownies-newHere are a few things you will find to get those creative juices flowing:

  • Oh, so delectable chocolate desserts for that special someone to celebrate an anniversary.
  • Fabulous decorating tips to ensure a successful baby shower for expectant mothers.
  • A creative array of birthday gift ideas for the person who has everything.
  • Christmas traditions from various countries and options for you to add to your traditions.
  • Ideas to let that college bound high school graduate know that they still hold a place in your heart.
  • Congratulating someone has never been as easy with the fantastic ideas in Gifts for All Seasons.
  • brisket-saucedCorporate gift giving can be tricky. This eBook gives solutions to the various corporate gift giving occasions (and a scrumptious looking photo of Magic Kitchen’s Sliced Beef Brisket).
  • Father’s Day can be a tough gift giving occasion. Give something other than the stand by tie.
  • Need to comfort a sick loved one? Ideas for balanced, healthy meals are just a few pages away!
  • Want to make a memorable Mother’s Day? Inside, you’ll find fresh ideas for that morning meal.
  • House warming gift ideas for young home owners as well as the more mature set.

These are just some of the special days for which gifts are common. Magic Kitchen’s Gifts for All Seasons is the perfect companion for the giver to find unique ideas. Don’t miss out. Grab your copy today and let Magic Kitchen help deliver a gift your special someone will adore.

facebooktwitterpinterest

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

facebooktwitterpinterest

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!

facebooktwitterpinterest

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.

facebooktwitterpinterest