Shortcut Girl’s Christmas List and Gift Tips [Husband Please Read]

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Everyone likes a good Christmas list to buy from, right? Here’s Shortcut Girl’s list. Maybe you’ll see some things you like or some things you might randomly want to send to me just to show you care. Wink, wink.

1. Slippers. No limit to how many pairs. Since some people wear them as shoes now, they are ever-so-fucntional.

2. Bare Minerals Make-up. I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but this stuff is just great. For those bags that reveal the screaming child who was up at 3am or to hide the ever-growing number of fine lines, this is your make-up. So far, I only use the concealer and foundation but I think I might ratchet it up a notch sometime soon.

3. Pedicure gift certificate. Did you really even need that one listed?

4. Boot Socks. Socks to wear with boots. Where have you been?!

5. Subscription to Working Mother magazine. My new favorite read.

6. I like having cute dish towels. Is that weird. Here’s a dream site for towels.

7. Cute pajamas (you can get mother-daughter matching ones!)

8. New cozy robe. Why do comfy things always go on Christmas lists?

9. New snow boots. My Uggs just don’t do it anymore.

10. New book. Great author and looks like an inspiring read.

Other Tips of Gift Giving:

Know What You Want: If you want to publish your holiday list for all to see, don’t hesitate to start an account on a site like this for all your loved ones. In the area of making us all more über focused on ourselves, you can now just make a list of tons of things you want and hope that your cousin Fred actually looks it up online. I’m not saying it’s not a good idea, I just think it’s funny for people to expect people to check an online list. Hmmm.I was going to get her socks but then I saw she wanted a Tiffany vase. Pfft. How can I give her JUST socks now? It’s fun to think about the family drama that can ensue. Every year I ask for a blender and SHE doesn’t even fill out her list! Why did SHE get the blender?”

But seriously though, if you family is the type that likes to know what people want for Christmas before shopping, sharing a google doc with everyone’s wishes is a great shortcut. Even better, taking pictures of things you or your kids see in the store and texting or emailing the pics to parents can help in the shopping for everyone. You and your children get gifts you like and your family has some direction in the shopping mall. Win, Win.

Let Technology Help: An accomplished wife of a technology teacher, I have may tricks. One is the new Secret Santa name generator I found to organize the family name exchange. This helped us to pick names well before the holiday and sends everyone an email to refer back to when they forget.

For Christmas cards and packages, keep your addresses in Excel and import it to google docs. Then save that link to your Iphone and Ipad if you have them so you can access your addresses easily on the go. Merging the document to create labels is always nice but also sharing the google doc with other family members helps out people who don’t have up to date addresses. Tip: Make sure to go through your list and delete addresses of those who have moved so you are reminded to ask them for their new address.

Be a Personal Shopper: There are sometimes I will see something for me, my husband, my kids or another family member that is just the PERFECT gift. I might have already purchased something or not have their name for Christmas that year. However, helping others in your family by shopping for them can always be a benefit. Especially for those who have to factor in traveling and shipping costs for the holidays, having someone else do it makes for an easy solution. We do this a lot with my Mom since we have had kids. I send her a picture of what I am buying on her behalf and she is excited that she doesn’t have to physically bring it for her visit. Everyone’s happy. And you have a reason to shop with someone else’s money!

Themes and Group Gifts: Don’t underestimate the fun of having a theme for all your gift receipients for a particular year. One year, my husband made everyone salad dressing in old Grolsch beer bottles. One year, we gave everyone framed pictures of Parker (we were new parents, what do you want?) and this year I plan to make photo albums for all the grandparents. It’s nice to look back and say, “hey that was the year we gave/got __________.” Out of ideas? Not feeling crafty? Scour Pinterest. 15 minutes on that site and you will think that you can now dress like a supermodel, decorate like a Pottery Barn consultant and cook like Paula Deen. It’s like holiday do-it yourself-on crack.

Whether you are personal shopping, hoping for a pink sparkle pair of slippers or trying to figure out just the right recipe for homemade fruit infused vodka, just make sure you remember to enjoy yourself. We shouldn’t be going to all this trouble because we have to but because it makes us feel good when we get to.

Merry Christmas!

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Foodie Friday: Trader Joe’s!!!!

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If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, you already know what all the fuss is about. If you don’t, you think people are just making a big deal out of a grocery store. Pffft. You bet we are. Trader Joe’s makes shopping,
meal planning and even EATING better.

Celia was in one cart, Parker in the other. I got all the “kid food” covered and Mike got all the gourmet stuff. Here’s what we came out with, in summary (there’s a $300 grocery bill to explain here, so bear with me):

  • Heirloom tomatoes, multi-colored
  • Mini Zucchini
  • Joe Joe’s (TJ’s version of Oreos- fantastic)
  • Squeezable fruit- You only know what I am talking about if you have kids but “fruit squuezies” as we call them are a primary source of nutrition at the Gallagher house
  • Egg White salad
  • Freeze dried bananas
  • Freeze dried mangoes
  • Wine Country chicken salad– soooo good!
  • Buttermilk pancake mix- it’s soooooo good
  • Dijon mustard
  • Wasabi mayo
  • Pita crackers
  • Everything crackers
  • Whole wheat pancake mix
  • Coffee (this is one thing that we LOVE from TJ’s)
  • Olive Oil- also great
  • Pizza Dough
  • Lamb roast
  • Prosciutto
  • Bleu Cheese and Pecan spread
  • Almonds
  • Parmesean Cheese
  • Cereal- three boxes!
  • Cereal bars
  • Crackers
  • Ciabatta bread
  • Pasta
  • Graham cookies
  • Mac and cheese
  • Mini wheat bagels
  • Boxed creamy tomato soup
  • Juice boxes
  • Frozen flatbread pesto pizza
  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Goat cheese
  • Tri-Tip steaks
  • Organic toaster pastries (never have I ever bought pop tarts for my kids- Trader Joe’s makes it socially acceptable!)
  • Pork dumplings
  • Various frozen fish
  • Peaches
  • Bananas
  • I’m not even sure if I named everything, but I’m sure I was close. Point being– we love TJ’s and are SO HAPPY there is one close to us now. The food is interesting and usually much better in price than what you find at your regular grocery store.

    Here’s Miss Celia’s hilarious positions in the cart as we shopped.

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    And here’s a glimpse of some of my fave products from Trader Joe’s.

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