Wednesday, November 30, 2022

What is Jolabokaflod? Christmas Eve Traditions to Try! Holiday Gift Ideas

 So you might be wondering what a Jolabokaflod is and why it's important!  Well in the interests of learning something new every day, this is one word and idea that really resonates with me and my family.

Jolabokaflod is an Icelandic Christmas Eve tradition.  Every one in the family gets a "book" gift on Christmas Eve and the rest of the evening is spent reading and drinking  hot chocolate and eating some of those wonderful Christmas cookies that seem to magically appear at this time of year.




Our family is blessed in so many ways!   All our children are grown and have children of their own. Our children and grandchildren don't really need more "stuff".   Each family member has a roof over their heads and food on the table.  Clothes in the closets and shoes/boots for whatever weather conditions may be outside.  So what more do we need?

The simple answer is NOTHING!  

The most important things to us (my husband and myself) is BEING with each other and sharing time together.  Yet at Christmastime, we also like to do something special for our family.

So this year we have made the decision to do what they do in Iceland.  Instead of gifts for the adults we will focus on purchasing a book that we have loved and share it with another member of  the family.  

The grandchildren will still receive traditional Christmas gifts, but a book might find it's way into that idea too! We love reading and love promoting reading skills to our grandchildren as well. 

If you are looking for a great list of books to peruse, you don't have to go too far!  Review This Reviews has an amazing list of books that have been reviewed by the writers of this site!  There is everything from Puzzle Books and Riddles, to Murder/Mysteries, Biographies, Cozy Romances and so much more!  

Some books are from new authors and some are from well known authors who have been writing for years.

There is something for everyone at ReviewThisReviews.com!  Click on the link and then follow the tabs across the top!  The first one you come to is BOOK REVIEWS.  How much easier can gift finding get?


We (my other half and I) will be using this link to find the gifts for our own first of a kind, Jolabokaflod that we will celebrate this year!  

Now I have to add an addendum:  This idea is not for every one and if you are interested there are a host of "OTHER" reviews that might help you find that perfect gift if you are celebrating in a more traditional way.

May Your Christmas be everything that you hold dear to your hearts and may you enjoy each other's company making great memories as you go along!  Blessings to all!






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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

A Review of Creepypasta - What Is It?

 


What is Creepypasta?

The first thing that comes to mind is some type of scary noodles!  Maybe a Halloween dish?  Nope, Creepypasta has nothing to do with food, creepy or otherwise.   The meaning of Creepypasta has changed over time.  In the beginning it meant a short horror story, whose author was unknown, that was shared on forums, storyboards and other internet sites.  Now what, you may ask, does pasta have to do with stories?  I thought the same thing.  It seems that Creepypasta is kind of a rip off of the term Copypasta which has been around since 2006 and means a block of text that is shared in many places around the internet.  

Anyway, Creepypasta now refers to most any type of horror story that one can find to read or listen to on the internet.  Creepypasta stories are basically fiction, but are usually written in a manner that makes the reader think that it really happened, or at least that it COULD happen.  This is what makes them so creepy!  Authors are now fully credited and some have become quite well known, going on to become published writers and even writing screenplays for movies.

What are Creepypasta Stories About?  

Creepypasta stories are usually centered around some type of scary being, such as:

Cryptid - Any creature that may or may not exist. Sightings  have been reported, but their reality is unproven.  Includes: bigfoot, dogman, werewolves, mothman, sea monsters, etc.

Alien - Any creature that is not from our planet or dimension.

Undead - Physical creatures that were once alive but have died and then came back in a physical body.  Includes:  vampires, zombies, ghouls, mummies, etc.

Ghosts- An entity that was once alive, but has died and come back to the world of the living without a physical body.

Demons - A malevolent supernatural entity, mostly considered to be fallen angels that serve the Devil.

There are stories about other things that are also considered to be Creepypasta, but these are the top five that I have seen the most.  

How I Found Out About Creepypasta

I was looking through YouTube one day, searching for something interesting when I ran across a video called "I Am A Monster Created By The Government."



I had to laugh, but I was also intrigued.  What kind of video could this be?  I hit play and was immediately immersed in an interesting creepy story.  This was a compilation of a group of stories about the same characters, which is good because it saved me the trouble of looking for all of them in YouTube.  There was nothing on the video screen to watch, it was more like an audio book that you listen to.  This was even better for me, as it gave me something interesting to listen to while I was crafting or cleaning.  After I finished with that video, I went in search of other stories to listen to and that is when I was introduced to the world of Creepypasta. I've  been listening ever since!  There are literally dozens of authors that write these stories and 
I have listened to many narrators (that is what they call the people reading the stories in the videos) but there are three that I like the best:

Donovan Dread - https://www.youtube.com/@DonovanDread/  

Mr. Creeps - https://www.youtube.com/c/MrCreeps/

Magnetar - https://www.youtube.com/@MagnetarYT

If you don't like to listen to stories, and you prefer to read them yourself, there are also websites with archives of Creepypasta stories.  My two favorites are:

Don't Turn Around - https://www.dontturnaround.com/

Creepypasta - http://www.creepypasta.com

If you are not into monsters, there are other types of video stories that you can listen to on YouTube like True Crime Stories, Mysteries, Bedtime Stories, Time Travel Stories and many others.  Just type "narrated stories"  in the search bar of YouTube.  There is something there for everyone!  I love listening to stories and I am so glad that I found a new place to find them.

If you prefer your reading material in physical book form, you can buy Creepypasta books on Amazon. Not only do they have regular books, but also Creepypasta coloring books and even Creepypasta role playing games.  There are so many ways to have scary Creepypasta fun!

Click Here to Search for Creepypasta on Amazon





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Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Christmas Activity Book for Teens and Adults

A Christmas Activity Book for Teens and Adults

Since 2019 I've been on a self-publishing journey.

It started with clearing a bucket-list item; publishing my fifty-year collection of poems.

Since then, I've published numerous activity books, riddle books, and journals. My website StumpedRiddles.com features every book, as well as fun activities to solve.

You can find my books on Amazon.

My publishing journey to date includes the following:
  • Riddle books
  • Sudoku books
  • Wordsearch books
  • Word Scramble Books
  • Journals
  • and more to come!

My Newest Book is "Christmas Word Scramble for Teens and Adults"

Why did I create a word scramble book?

The main reason for making this book was to encourage mind exercise. In fact, all of my activity books are created with this in mind.

The scrambles included can be challenging, although brainiac kids could solve them!

I'm huge on large print puzzles and only feature one per page.

Although this book has ten topic-driven words per page, the book measures 8.5 by 11 inches, so the print is large and easy to read.

Christmas Word Scramble for Teens and Adults

Word Scrambles on StumpedRiddles

Stumpedriddles originally featured personally written riddles. There are over one thousand original riddles when combined with the website and books. 

I've recently expanded the website to include onsite word scrambles and word searches. Visitors can solve these activities directly on the website. It's a work in progress, as more scrambles are being added weekly. 

Also, the word searches can be printed out as well, for free.

Visitors can subscribe for a free downloadable copy of  Self-Care Word Scrambles. It's a short full-color book that features 50 words related to self-care.




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Saturday, November 26, 2022

What the Fireflies Knew – Book Review

 by Kai Harris



My usual reading genre is mystery/suspense books. But I recently came across this 'coming-of-age' story that I found totally compelling. 


What the Fireflies Knew is well worth reading. It is an ode to Black girlhood.


Synopsis


The story is told by almost-eleven-year-old Kenyata Bernice (KB).  In the wake of her father's death from an overdose and the loss of their Detroit home due to the debts incurred by his addiction, her mother takes KB and her 14-year-old sister, Nia, to the home of their estranged grandfather in Lansing, Michigan. Then the mother disappears without a word of explanation.


Grandfather is grumpy and silent. With her father dead, her mother gone, and her sister, once her best friend, now ignoring her and acting like a stranger, KB is lonely, sad, resentful and feeling abandoned. The white kids across the street at first act friendly; and then not. It seems as though everyone is keeping secrets.


KB finds herself forced to carve out a different identity for herself and find her own voice. As the summer weeks go by, she finds the almost country setting of her grandfather's street quiet and peaceful compared to the nearly constant noise and strife of her old Detroit neighborhood. She enjoys sitting in the old tree in the backyard, reading her beloved books and listening to the quiet. 


One evening while grandfather, KB and Nia are sitting on the back porch reading, granddaddy suddenly whispers “Look”. When KB asks “What is it” Granddaddy says “Fireflies – I ain't never seen so many all at once.”


KB runs and runs, trying to catch them, but the light goes out and it disappears, and then appears somewhere else. She wonders what the trick is to catch one and learn the secret of their light. Granddaddy comes and tells her to slow down and teaches her how to catch a firefly.  


“Sometimes, when you wanna speed up, you gotta slow down first.”


Eventually, granddaddy and KB begin to talk and learn about each other. Nia is still ignoring her most of the time, busy with a Detroit friend who is visiting an Aunt in Lansing this summer and with an interest in teenage things and boys beyond KB's understanding. KB also learns that 'momma' is in a treatment center for acute depression. 


Summary


This is a very moving novel about family, identity, and race. What the Fireflies Knew teaches KB a valuable lesson of 'growing up'  - the realization that loved ones can be flawed and that the perfect family we all dream about looks different close up. 


I highly recommend this dazzling and fascinating first novel by a gifted storyteller (author Kai Harris). It is a well crafted tale of life, loss and survival told through the voice of an unforgettable 10-year-old narrator. 



*This coming-of-age novel is available on Amazon


*What the Fireflies Knew book review by Wednesday Elf.













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Friday, November 25, 2022

LEGO Creator Winter Toy Shop Reviewed

Lego Toy Shop
The Lego Creator Winter Toy Shop is part of our annual Christmas decor!

When Treasures By Brenda recently reviewed The Best Lego Gift Ideas, I realized that I had never reviewed the Lego Winter Toy Shop set and explained how we use it every year during the holidays.

The snowy scene is the perfect winter design and there is nothing better than a toy shop at Christmastime.  Our whole family loves this Lego set. 

Our son built the #10249 set in 2019 and that was the first year we used it as our dining room table centerpiece for the holidays. It was such a hit with everyone, that I continue to display it in the center of our table for the holidays.

Our children are adults, but when our daughter was recently in town, they were both "playing" with the Lego figures in the set, discussing the Lego toys around the tree, and laughing at the poor skier that just can't seem to keep his balance sitting on my green table runner.  

I personally love the carolers that are reminiscent of holiday Dickens Village Carolers. 

We also add the 2019 Winter Gingerbread House (#40337) to our centerpiece display. I have a wide family table that needs a wider centerpiece. Plus, I like having more of the gingerbread house motif included.  We selected the 2019 house to serve as a date "cornerstone" for the building year.

Lego Toy Shop
Our Dining Room Table Holiday Centerpiece

 

Lego Creator Winter Toy Shop Set #10199 or #10249

This toy shop Lego set is fabulous and makes an excellent holiday decoration.  As stated above, we use it as our dining room centerpiece, but it would be lovely on any table top in any room.

There are at least 2 Lego Winter Toy Shop kits to consider.  My son built the newer version (10249) for our dining room table.  The older version (10199) has less pieces, but different toys. Plus, the building details are slightly different, notably the wreaths.  

 LEGO Creator Winter Toy Shop 10199Check Price

The Lego Set 10199 Includes:
  • The Winter Top Shop Building with light-up tower window
  • Christmas Tree
  • Bench & Lamp Post
  • Decorative Landscape Trees
  • Minifigures included:  2 Carolers & 5 more town people, snowman, cat, toy train, jack-in-the-box, stuffed animal, robot and toy car
  • 815 pieces 

 

The Lego Set 10249 below (the set my son built) has 898 pieces with similar pieces as above, but also includes:

  • Updated Designs 
  • Minifigures are similar 2 Carolers & 6 more town people, snowman, & the cat
  • Toys are teddy bear, jack-in-the-box, train, truck, race car, plane, helicopter, tug boat, robot & rocket.

 LEGO Creator Winter Toy Shop 10249Check Price

 

 





Check Out More Toy Reviews at
ReviewThisToys.com
Or
Reviews on Lego Sets
Right Here On Review This Reviews!

House of Sylvestermouse




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Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving Greetings

Thank you, God, for all the Beauty in Nature.
Today, November 24 is the day that we in the USA celebrate Thanksgiving.  It is a day when Americans take time out of their daily lives to be thankful for all that has been given to us.  

For this Thanksgiving Day review, I would like to share with you, through my photographs some of the beauty in our world for which I am truly thankful.

The Moon


I love photographing the moon.  Here is a shot I captured back in September of the full moon.

 Special Times with Family and Friends

I am very thankful for my family and friends and the special times we spend together.  We recently all got together for a bonfire at my brother's.

Birds

As any of you know that follow my reviews, I love to watch and photograph birds.  Here are a couple of my recent bird photos.


Flowers

I am always amazed by the intricacies of the many varieties of flowers God has placed on this earth.  




Photo Walks

I love to take walks just to capture the beauty around me on my camera.  Here are some of my latest photos from these adventures.






Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  May you be blessed with a thankful heart.




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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Holiday Gift Guide: Thoughtful, Affordable Gift Ideas They Will Love

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the day after is Black Friday, when many people will be taking the day off to enjoy an extra-long weekend. Despite the growing trend toward "pre-Black Friday sales," the Friday after Thanksgiving is widely considered the kickoff to the holiday gift shopping season and making plans for the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa winter holidays.

With retail stores (both online and brick-and-mortar) competing hard for your holiday shopping dollars, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the barrage of sales messages and holiday gift guides. But the best gifts, the ones that make both the giver and receiver feel warm and fuzzy, are presents that reflect your personal connection to each recipient through your knowledge of their individual likes and interests.

This holiday gift guide reviews a selection of gift ideas that are both affordable and thoughtful, tailored to the interests of special people on your list.

Thoughtful & Affordable Holiday Gifts

Holiday Gift Ideas by Interest

Whether your nearest and dearest friends and family members, teachers and other recipients on your list are fond of fashion, food, fancy fingertips or other interests, the affordable gifts in this holiday gift guide are sure to please!

For Women Who Love Luxury But Hate Cold Weather

One of the best presents I ever bought myself were a pair of VIKIDEER Long, Lined, Warm Leather Gloves for Women With Touchscreen Fingertips. They're made of soft, luxurious lambskin leather, have a warm, plush lining, are long enough to keep my arms as well as my hands toasty warm, and let me  use my mobile phone, tablet or Kindle to make a phone call, look up a bus or train schedule, call a cab, Uber or Lyft or listen to an audiobook, podcast or music without having to expose my fingers to the cold winter weather. Read my product review of these Long, Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves to learn more about why they make a much appreciated gift for women.

Long, lined, warm leather touchscreen gloves

Other cozy gift recommendations to keep her warm in the cold weather include the Warm, Oversized, Hooded Wearable Blankets recommended by Raintree Annie and the Affordable, Cozy Warm Micromink Sherpa Blanket reviewed by Barbara (a.k.a. Brite-Ideas) that keeps her family members toasty during the chilly Canadian winters. 

For Podcast, Audiobook and Music Lovers

Any audiobook or podcast lover will appreciate a Audible Premium Plus Gift Membership. A 1-month membership costs only $15 and allows the recipient to select an audiobook their choice for 1 credit and gives them access to additional listens through the Audible Plus catalog. It would make a great stocking stuffer! There are also 3-month, 6-month or 12-month gift memberships available.

Recipients with iPhones or other Apple devices can use an Apple Gift Card to buy AirPods (and other accessories) as well as subscriptions to Apple Music (as well as apps, games, movies and TV shows) in the Apple App Store.

If you want to splurge a little on someone special, a pair of comfortable, lightweight, high-quality, bone-conduction headphones makes a great gift idea. Check out my product review of The Best Bone-Conduction Bluetooth Headphones: Shokz OpenRun Pro to learn more about these awesome headphones.

Shokz Open Run Pro premium bone-conduction headphones

For Women Who Enjoy Pretty Nails

As a former nail biter with weak nails that constantly broke or split, I used to envy women who had long, strong, beautifully manicured and polished nails. It is only in recent years that I finally learned how to heal my weak, ridged nails and ragged cuticles. Now, I love showing off my new, long, healthy nails with pretty polish colors and nail art designs!

Manicure with Color Street nail polish strips

If someone on your list also enjoys having pretty, well-groomed nails (or wishes she did), check out my product reviews of The Best Manicure Tools for Strong, Healthy Nails and put together a selection in a gift basket, along with a printout of my article 14 Secrets to Growing Strong, Healthy, Beautiful Nails and a bottle or two of good quality nail polish or, better, yet, Color Street nail polish strips, which I use and recommend highly. You can order them from my fellow Review This Reviews contributor Olivia Morris and read her Color Street nail polish strips product review to learn more about them.

For Current or Aspiring Gardening Enthusiasts and Flower Lovers

My mother and my sister both got the "green thumb" genes in our family. So, while my sister grows a lot of her own vegetables and herbs (and even lemons and limes) year-around, despite our cold New England climate, the only crops I have been able to grow reliably all year long are Hamama microgreens seed quilts. Hamama Microgreens Starter Kits and Seed Quilt Refills are designed specifically for indoor growing. Just fill the grow trays with tap water up to the fill line, place the seed quilts and attached coir fiber mats on top and press to soak evenly, place them near a window or under a grow light, wait for them to sprout and grow, then harvest and eat, So easy, delicious and satisfying, especially for people like me who lack natural gardening talent or savvy! I have given them as gifts and the recipients have loved them. Learn more in my Hamama Microgreens Starter Kit and Seed Quilts Review.

HAMAMA microgreens seed quilts in grow trays

Outdoor gardening enthusiasts will definitely appreciate the gift of a high quality tool, such as bypass secateurs. Check out my savvy gardening expert Raintree Annie's review of her favorite Wolf-Garten ByPass Secateurs.

For someone with a deck, consider giving a City Pickers raised garden bed recommended by Tracey (a.k.a. The Savvy Age) along with some good quality potting soil.

Several of my fellow Review This Reviews contributors are talented nature photographers who have turned their photos into various products on Zazzle. You'll find beautiful flower-themed photo mugs, t-shirts, decorative pillows and other gifts on Mary Beth Granger's Beauty in Nature Zazzle shop and Raintree Annie's Raintree Earth Designs Zazzle shop.

For Cooking or Baking Enthusiasts

There are so many wonderful gift ideas for people who love cooking, baking or both! Two that I can recommend highly that are also very affordable include my pick for The Best Powerful, Lightweight Stick Blender With Versatile Attachments and an assortment of handy, easy-to-clean, nonstick pan friendly silicone kitchen tools

Mueller Multi-Purpose Ultra-Stick Hand Blender

If you want to give your favorite home cook a gift they would love to own but might not buy for themselves, also check out the equally versatile Ninja Foodi Grill reviewed by Sam Monaco.

And for your favorite baker, Treasures by Brenda recommends these pretty and practical pink cupcake-themed aprons and adorable, festive gingerbread man-themed aprons that would make perfect Christmas gifts.

For Coffee Lovers in a Small Household

One of the Christmas gifts my husband requested last year was a coffee maker that could make just one or two cups of really good coffee that would taste as delicious as a larger 6-, 8- or 12-cup batch (for when we had company) and could be programmed the night before to brew the next morning, so he (or we) could wake up to a freshly brewed cup of java. 

After a lot of research, I finally chose the Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with 12-cup Glass Carafe and it was a huge hit. Read my product review to learn why we think it's The Best Affordable Programmable Large- and Small-Batch Coffee Maker.

Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with 12-cup Glass Carafe

If your gift recipients are the only coffee drinkers in their household or if the want to enjoy delicious, freshly brewed coffee when they travel, check out Sylvestermouse's review of the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve K-cup Coffee Maker.

For Regular and Herbal Tea Lovers

I and many of my friends are avid tea drinkers. While I enjoy a cuppa good Darjeeling or English Breakfast, I also love flavored teas, such as peach, apricot and blackberry. Although I never liked the grassy flavor of most green tea or chamomile, I have been exploring flavored herbal teas and discovered quite a few that I enjoy even more than traditional black teas. Flavored red rooibos teas, in particular, have become some of my new favorites. I love The Republic of Tea's Restore and Reset SuperAdapt Herbal Tea, which is organic, caffeine-free and infused with cocoa and reishi mushrooms, adaptogens (which the Cleveland Clinic describes as "plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue and overall wellbeing") that give it a delicious, slightly earthy chocolate flavor, and The Republic of Tea's Strawberry Chocolate Tea, which I have reviewed in detail (An Unusual, Delicious Strawberry Chocolate Tea With 0 Calories).

Republic of Tea Strawberry Chocolate Cuppa Chocolate Tea

To enhance your gift, consider adding the pretty and practical McIntosh Van Gogh Fine China Tea Mug with Lid & Infuser reviewed by Cynthia Sylvestermouse, a perfect gift pairing with the tea of your choice for your favorite tea lover.

For Healthy Chocolate Connoisseurs

As a chocolate connoisseur who has lost a significant amount of weight on a ketogenic diet and now follows a delicious, healthy low carb lifestyle, I have tried most of the no sugar added and sugar-free chocolate brands and products on the market. There are many great choices now, but my favorite chocolate candy bars are from The Good Chocolate and ChocZero. 

The Good Chocolate is expensive but has the best mouthfeel of any no sugar added dark chocolate I have tried (they also offer vegan milk chocolate treats). Check out my review of The Good Chocolate 100% Organic, No Sugar Dark Chocolate

The Good Chocolate organic no sugar added chocolate bars

I also love ChocZero's sugar-free keto bark, which contains no sugar alcohols. The ChocZero dark chocolate peppermint keto bark with bits of crunchy, sugar-free peppermint candy is my husband's favorite holiday candy. Both these chocolate bars are also high in fiber, which is a nice bonus.

No sugar added, low carb chocolate hazelnut spreads would also make a great stocking stuffer for a health-conscious Nutella lover. My side-by-side comparison of the Best Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads with No Added Sugars will help you choose. 

For People Following a Keto Diet or Low Carb Lifestyle

In addition to the healthy sugar-free and no added sugar chocolate suggestions above, you'll find loads of other wonderful presents for health-conscious recipients in my Keto Gift Guide: The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas.

For Women Who Appreciate Handmade Gifts

A gift you make for someone is truly a gift from the heart. Even if you are new to making jewelry, you can quickly and successfully create a beautiful and memorable gift of handmade jewelry for a special woman on your list to cherish. Just follow my easy, step-by-step jewelry tutorial, How to Make a Stylish Beaded Coil Wrap Bracelet.

Handmade beaded coil wrap bracelet on wrist

If jewelry making isn't your thing, consider getting one of the crochet, knitting, sewing, felt, quilting or other craft kits recommended by Pat Austin (a.k.a. Wednesday Elf) that come complete with all the materials and tools you will need to complete your handmade gift projects.

If you prefer cooking to crafts, homemade baked goods are always a treat. For someone who prefers savory foods to sweets, you can buy some pretty lidded glass food storage jars and fill them with a batch of refrigerator pickled vegetables recipe using Tracey Boyer's quick and easy recipe that doesn't require canning.

If your gift recipient's household includes a beloved cat or small dog owner, you can follow this Upcycled Drawer Pet Bed Tutorial by Diana (a.k.a. Renaissance Woman) to turn an old dresser drawer into an elegant, luxurious bed for their precious pet.

For Scale Model, Jewelry Making or Hand Tool Enthusiasts

My husband is both a "tool guy" and a "car guy" who loves building scale models as a hobby and doing electonics and automotive repairs. One of the best gifts I've given him is a durable, compact tool roll that keeps his many files and other precision hand tools organized, protected and easy to find. I've been tempted to buy another for myself for my jewelry making tools. Check out my in-depth product review to find out why The Best Tool Roll Organizer To Store & Protect Your Tools makes a great gift.

DuraTech Tool Roll Organizer

Consider pairing it with a Grypmat, a handy silicone tool organizer that sticks to and protects work surfaces and comes in a variety of sizes. It's perfect for automotive repairs and other mechanical work, jewelry making and DIY projects. Learn more about it in Dawn Rae's product review of the Grypmat: the Ultimate Tool Mat.

For Women or Men With Long, Thick or Damaged Hair

Drying long or thick hair can be time-consuming unless you use a blow dryer, which can damage tresses if overused, which can lead to damage. Using blow dryers or heat styling tools, such as curling irons and hot brushes, for as short a time as possible is important to keep hair healthy and prevent additional damage to colored, processed or fragile strands.

For the person on your list who has long, thick or damaged hair, a high-quality, absorbent hair towel that glides over vulnerable, wet tresses without stretching or pulling them is a wonderful gift. I highly recommend the VOLO Hero or VOLO Hero Plus (for long, thick locks), which I've written about in my VOLO Hero Premium Microfiber Hair Towel Product Review.

VOLO Hero Premium Microfiber Hair Towel

A good "wet brush" designed to slide through tangles without pulling, stretching or breaking wet strands after a shampoo would make a great pairing or stocking stuffer. Check out my article on The Best Wet Brushes for Detangling Your Hair Without Damage in addition to the Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Hair Brush for Wet or Dry Hair, my new favorite daily brush for hair that's already damaged or fragile.

For People Who Love to Smile

I recently treated myself to a new sonic toothbrush that works as well as my previous Philips Sonicare and Oral-B brushes that cost much more. The bristles are gentle on the gums and clean very effectively, and the brush comes complete with a travel case and lots of extra brush heads, all for a remarkably low price. Unlike my previous ultrasonic toothbrushes from the big-name brands, the brush head refills are also delightfully affordable. 

Dnsly Electric Toothbrush Set

Read my product review of The Best Dentist Approved, Inexpensive, 5-Mode Electric Toothbrush to learn more about why this set makes a wonderful gift for yourself or a loved one with a beautiful smile.

Have You Made Your Holiday Gift List (and Checked It Twice)?

I hope this holiday gift guide helps you choose thoughtful, affordable presents that will continue to delight both you and the recipients long after the holidays are over.

Happy holidays!

Holiday Gift Guide: Thoughtful, Affordable Gift Ideas They Will Love by Margaret Schindel

Read More Gift Ideas From Our Review This Reviews Contributors





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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Best Lego Gift Ideas That Aren't Necessarily Lego Building Sets

A gift guide with Lego ideas that are not necessarily Lego sets.
My children clamored for Lego sets when they were growing up and, somewhere along the line, they turned me into a Lego enthusiast. Each year at Christmas my sons picked a special set that they dreamed of owning and, of course, hoped that Santa Claus would leave under the Christmas tree. They generally picked reasonable sets and discovered them under the Christmas tree in the morning.

Now that my children are grown up, Lego still appeals to them and Santa still likes to leave them a small Lego set at Christmastime. However, Lego gifts can even make an appearance on Valentine's Day, at Easter time or on a birthday and sometimes those gifts are Lego themed but not necessarily Lego sets. The popularity of Lego has ensured that there is plenty of merchandise to choose from so that gift giving is not limited to building sets though of course no Lego fan would ever say no to another Lego kit.

I have gathered on this page some of the best Lego-themed gift ideas that I could find in 2022. It was while looking for just such a gift that I decided to create this page. The "best" is used very loosely and is based solely on what appealed to me, partly by my sense of what my Lego lovers would love to own and partly by what appeals the most to me. I hope you find this list useful.

A BOOK - FANTASTIC: A LEGO ADVENTURE IN THE REAL WORLD


Factastic A LEGO Adventure in the Real World by Penelope Arlon.

Within the pages of Penelope Arlon's Factastic: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World the reader will find real photographs with Lego figures and interesting facts and statistics about an eclectic variety of subjects including flying to Pluto, the invention of my favorite snack (the humble potato chip), the playing of the first video game and more. It is a fun, non-fiction Lego-themed book by Scholastic recommended for ages seven to eleven but, of course, of interest to anyone who loves the Lego brick. 

Find your copy of Factastic here on Amazon.

A CALENDAR - LEGO BRICK CALENDAR SET 40172


LEGO's Brick Calendar set 40172. Perfect for any adult or older child who loves building with Lego bricks.
I am not in the least surprised that there is such a thing as a Lego calendar. This Lego Brick Calendar seems like a natural choice for someone who loves to play with Lego or who remembers fondly playing with Lego in his or her youth. The calendar is set 40172 and comes with everything you need to build the four blocks as well as a mini-figure and the display rack. It is a perfect gift for the year 2022 that will be equally useful for years to come. Personally, I would trade out the mini-figure for one that suits my interests more but that is no problem if your gift recipient owns a collection of Lego.




A STORAGE UNIT - LEGO ICONIC RACK SYSTEM SET 5005875

Transparent Blue LEGO Rack System


This Transparent Blue LEGO Iconic Rack System (5005875) is not particularly big but it is perfectly designed for young builders having three drawers for him or her to sort and organize Lego bricks. The drawers are semi-transparent drawers and have baseplates to build on. The unit measures 14 inches tall by 12 inches wide by 13 inches deep.

I am not sure if this storage unit will save you from the pain of stepping on the Lego bricks of younger Lego fans but it will help them sort and organize their bricks and even the youngest will now have a home to put all of their Lego bricks away when they care to or when they are instructed to. Available in red as shown, in blue or in gray.

Click here to find this Transparent Lego Rack System on Amazon. 



The Lego Movie set includes both the first and the second movie.

A gift for any Lego fan, whether they travel or not. Affix them to your luggage, your backpack, your purse. Any bag will do!

Love Lego? Don't miss these wonderful head block t-shirts. Pick your color, face style and size!

A MOVIE - LEGO'S EXTRA AWESOME 2-FILM COLLECTION 


The Lego Movies were a huge hit with fans and the critics. This Extra Awesome set is one that your gift recipient should own. Whether or not he or she has already seen the movies, they'll likely watch them over and over again.  Click here to find The Lego Movie 2-Film Collection on Amazon. It is an extremely affordable gift idea.

A LUGGAGE TAG - BANANAS, HOT DOGS AND MORE, OH MY!


These Lego tags are fun, declaring, as they will, your recipient's love of Lego to one and all and I don't think you have to be a traveler to appreciate them. They could also be affixed to a backpack, purse or other bag, not just your suitcase. I have shared a couple of mini-figure food-themed tags but Lego has also produced tags in themes that include Star Wars, Batman, Ninjago and Batman. Find them all on Amazon by clicking right here

A T-SHIRT - CUSTOMIZABLE LEGO BRICK HEAD BY TEEZ 2 GO


I cannot think of a more practical or affordable gift idea for a Lego lover than a t-shirt like the ones shown above from Teez 2 Go on Etsy.  They are available in a host of colors, designs and sizes for men, women and children so that you can pick the one that you think is perfect for your Lego enthusiast.  You will find these t-shirts on Etsy by clicking right here. If the whole family loves Lego, why not dress them all in one of these? That would create a fabulous photo opportunity.

A LIMITED EDITION POSTER - TOM WHALEN'S THE LEGO MOVIE POSTER 


Tom Whalen's The Lego Movie art poster makes a unique gift idea for a Lego fan.

Tom Whalen's Lego Movie art poster makes a unique gift for your Lego fan that can take pride of place on his or her bedroom wall. Heck, don't limit it to the bedroom. It would be fabulous on a family room or play room wall or absolutely any wall at all. 

Whale is a deviant artist who has produced many movie-themed prints, including this limited edition The Lego Movie one, which was issued in a limited numbered run of 475. You can source it now on eBay from the original buyers who are now wanting to sell their copy of the fun print.  Find it on eBay by clicking right here.

A MINI-FIGURE - PERSONALIZED & BUILT IN YOUR LIKENESS


Personalized Lego mini-figures created by Brick Creative. Customizable with your choice of colors, figures, text, etc.

Finally, here is a truly unique Lego-themed gift idea. Brick Creative on Etsy creates personalized minifigures of you and/or your loved ones. They do them in many themes including but not limited to Christmas, Halloween, birthday, anniversary and thank you. You can select the number of figures, theme, etc. that suit you. See for yourself all of the choices in Brick Creative's store on Etsy by clicking right here

So there you have it, a page full of interesting and less usual Lego-themed gift ideas. Which items were your favorites?

See you 
at the Lego store!
Lego fans will enjoy checking out the retired sets in my eBay store.

True enthusiasts, young and old, will love perusing the pages of these great books.

Lego's Beatles' Yellow Submarine Set.
Know someone who loves Lego and the Beatles? This will be the set for them!

Another adult set, perfect for those who are expert builders and love a beautiful carousel.

A throw-back to another time, adult fans who remember typewriters will enjoy this set.

Perfect for fans of the iconic television program, the Big Bang.

An adult-level set for those appreciate grocery stores or markets of the old-fashioned style.


Lego Gift Ideas a page full of 'em!







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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