2010 Holiday Gift Guide – Frugal Novice
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2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide – MD Anderson Children’s Art Project

The Skinny: If you’re in Texas (or even if you’re not), you’ve probably heard of MD Anderson Cancer Center. The mission of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.

The Children’s Art Project at MD Anderson Cancer Center helps make life better for children with cancer. Through worldwide sales of young cancer patients’ original artwork featured on seasonal note cards and gift items, the project has returned $27 million to programs that benefit cancer patients and their families. Each year, the project offers Holiday, Everyday and Valentine collections of note cards and gift items.

My Opinion: I love the fact that you can find adorable gift ideas here and help children with your purchase. If you don’t see anything you want to buy, you can make a donation in the recipient’s name. When my kids are a little bit older I think we’ll start donating to this and other causes in their name as one of their gifts – what a great way to share the concept of thinking of others.

Buy it For: Anyone on your list!

Win It

One winner will receive a notepad and notecards from the Children’s Art Project and I will make a $10 donation in your name. This giveaway is open to all U.S. & Canadian residents. Entries will be accepted until midnight CST on Monday, November 29.

How To Enter

Mandatory Entry: Visit the Children’s Art Project site and comment back here telling me your favorite item available on the site.

Bonus Entries

(Only valid after the required entry has been completed)

Please leave a comment for each extra entry – if you blog about this giveaway and get 3 entries, for example, comment 3 times.

Note: MD Anderson Children’s Art Project provided the notepad and notecards for the giveaway, however, any opinions remain honest and my own. I was not compensated monetarily for this post.

Christi

Holiday Gift Guide: Rub A Dub ABC & 123

The Skinny: Rub a Dub ABC and 123 by Alex from GrowingTreeToys.com (the site with tons of learning toys for your kids!) brings the classroom to the bathtub! With Rub a Dub ABC and 123 bath toy, kids love that they can build words and numbers with these soft foam shapes that stick to the tub or tile when wet. Alex Rub a Dub ABC and 123 is the great bath toy that includes 2 multi-colored sets of alphabet letters and a set of numbers 0-9 – that makes 62 different pieces with which to play.

Our Opinion: These letters made bath time a lot of fun for the boys. There are a ton of them, so there were plenty for them to share. J is really big into letters and words, and he had a lot of fun having us help him “build a word” (thanks, Word World!) over and over.  The letters came in the tub pictured above, which is great for storage – that’s especially important to us since we all use the same bath/shower. Priced at $11.95 for the tub at GrowingTreeToys.com, it’s a good value in my opinion. I did some searching for competition, and the Rub A Dub set is cheaper than others I found, with more included.

Buy it For: Infants, toddlers, and children up to early elementary school. There are also other bath toys by Alex available that would be fun for a variety of ages.

Note: GrowingTreeToys.com provided us with the letters and numbers for review, but my opinion is honest and my own.

Christi

Holiday Gift Guide: BookSwim

The Skinny: Like Netflix, but for books. Rent as many books as you’d like each month for a flat monthly fee. There are different levels of plans available that let you have out a different amount of books at a time; the smallest plan lets you have three books at once. On that plan, for example, you can return two of the books once you finish reading them. Then you can be reading the third book while you wait for two new books to arrive, and you’re never without a book to read. There are a ton of fiction books, as well as books available in all sorts of categories, including:

• Arts & Photography        • Children’s Books              • Parenting & Families

• Nonfiction                        • Cooking, Food & Wine    • Home & Garden

You’ll also find books from the NY Times BestSellers list & Oprah’s Book Club List.

My Opinion: I got to try out BookSwim and was really impressed with both the selection of books available and how quickly my first set of books arrived – 3 days after my order. The “Light Reader” plan (3 books at a time) is $24.95 a month. If you are a fairly quick reader or like to keep up with the newest book releases, the multiple-book plans would be worth more than their cost. I know with my schedule I don’t think I’d have enough time to make it worth $24.95 for me long-term. BookSwim has a 1-book-at-a-time plan for $9.95 a month that I think might be a good fit for me. I do think the “Light Reader” plan would be a great gift idea – even just a couple of months would be a nice gift.

Buy it For: Any book lovers in your life, or for a family to share (with all sorts of categories available, there’s something for everyone). This would also be great for that person that already has everything – we have a few people like that on our shopping list, that don’t need anything but would probably enjoy something like this a lot.

Win It

One lucky reader will win three months of the “Light Reader” plan from BookSwim, valued at $74.85! This giveaway is open to all U.S. & Canadian residents. Entries will be accepted until midnight CST on Monday, November 29.

How To Enter

Mandatory Entry: Go to BookSwim.com and then comment here telling me which book would be the first you’d add to your BookSwim pool!

Bonus Entries

(Only valid after the required entry has been completed)

Please leave a comment for each extra entry – if you blog about this giveaway and get 3 entries, for example, comment 3 times.

Note: BookSwim provided a membership for me to review and one for the giveaway, but opinions provided in this post remain honest and my own. I was not compensated monetarily for this post.

Christi

Holiday Gift Guide: Rubik’s Slide

The Skinny: To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, Techno Source introduced Rubik’s Slide, a new electronic puzzle game. Rubik’s Players begin each puzzle by checking the goal pattern and then sliding the lights into the correct pattern by twisting and shifting the top panel. (Much like the slide or “fifteen” puzzles from years ago). Once the puzzle is solved, Rubik’s Slide will advance to the next puzzle. Featuring more than 10,000 puzzles, Rubik’s Slide includes two different types of play. Players can see how many puzzles they can solve in Free Play mode or race against the clock to complete a series of 10 puzzles before time runs out in Lightning Round. There are multiple levels of difficulty, with easy, medium and hard puzzles built-in, vibrant light and sound effects, adjustable volume control, and high score memory. Batteries are included.

Our Opinion: I wasn’t sure what to think when I first turned the game on. I’ll admit, it took me a minute or two to figure it out. I tried Lightning Round on Easy, and on my first attempt I only completed 2 of the 10 puzzles – whoops! Once I tried again, though, I completed 9 out of 10 puzzles. Then I was hooked. This is a fun, quick game and is addicting! It’s compact and easy to take along on the road. I could definitely see it being a lifesaver on road trips. Rubik’s Slide is priced at $19.99, and just from looking at it in the package I wondered if it was overpriced. My verdict now? This game can provide countless hours of entertainment and is less expensive than buying a video game – I think it is a good value for the cost. My husband and (college-aged) brother both tried the Rubik’s Slide too, and it was a hit with both of them! I made Brian try it out while I recorded it so you could get an idea of what it’s like:

Buy it For: Anyone who loves games and puzzles! It’s marketed for ages “8-108” and that’s pretty accurate – I think it’d be great for kids and adults alike. The Rubik’s Slide will be available at retailers like WalMart, Target, & Toys”R”Us nationwide.

Win It

One lucky reader will win their own Rubik’s Slide, courtesy of Techno Source! This giveaway is open to all U.S. & Canadian residents. Entries will be accepted until midnight CST on Monday, November 29.

How To Enter

Mandatory Entry: Comment letting me know who on your gift list you’d buy the Rubik’s Slide for  – “Myself” is a completely valid answer, by the way! :)

Bonus Entries

(Only valid after the required entry has been completed)

Please leave a comment for each extra entry – if you blog about this giveaway and get 3 entries, for example, comment 3 times.

Note: Techno Source provided a game for me to review and one for the giveaway, but opinions provided in this post remain honest and my own. I was not compensated monetarily for this post.

Christi

Holiday Gift Guide Starts TODAY!

I am really excited to start the holiday gift guide today – and my first post for the guide includes a giveaway! I’ll be posting it this evening so be sure to check back!! Also, within this hour I’ll be posting a giveaway that is not a part of the Gift Guide, but is perfect to help get you prepared for Thanksgiving dinner! Keep your eyes peeled. :)