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Holiday Gift Guide 2015 – Frugal Novice
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Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Brick Swag Subscription Box – Perfect for LEGO Lovers!


Holiday Gift Guide 2015

We love LEGO in our house. Like, love it.

Our tree topper is made of LEGO.



We have two shelves dedicated to my husband’s architecture collection. We have sets for pretty much every holiday. Our boys have a LEGO table in their room, and a big set of drawers full of bricks. There’s another storage area in our game room/office, and my husband even makes LEGO art.

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Christmas Shopping at Kohl’s for the Whole Family


Holiday Gift Guide 2015

We received a Kohl’s gift card to facilitate our review. All opinions are honest and our own.

Christmas is less than two weeks away, and we’ve still got quite a few people on our list to shop for. Last year I was pretty much done at this point, but this year’s been so busy. Maybe you can relate to that feeling!

I love shopping at Kohl’s throughout the year, but Christmas is an especially great time for me to head there – I can shop for the entire family and more!

I needed to find gifts for all three of our kids’ teachers, and Kohl’s has a wide selection of high-end chocolate.


E decided these Ghirardelli chocolate squares would be perfect for her teacher!



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Open the Door to Fairy Fun – Great Gift Idea!


Holiday Gift Guide 2015

We received a fairy door to facilitate this post.

I absolutely love toys that encourage creative play, and fairy doors from the Irish Fairy Door Company do just that.  They really provide a great opportunity to open your child’s imagination! Their handcrafted wooden fairy doors are made and decorated in Ireland, sprinkled with a little magic and ready for your fairy to move in!

  • Includes Magic Key in a glass bottle to invite your fairy in. All you need to do is believe!
  • Guaranteed Irish product, suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Each door is approximately 5 inches (12cm) tall. Decorations may vary slightly but the color will be as seen.
  • Includes secret code to access magical content online at www.theirishfairydoorcompany.com
  • Magical Matters App available to view their stories from Fairy Valley on any device

Just adhere your door to the wall in your child’s room or play room right above the baseboard, and you’re all set to have a fun game of pretend, letting your fairy visit through the door whenever your child is ready. These adorable doors are available on Amazon in a variety of colors!

Classic Gift – Etch A Sketch Turns 100


Holiday Gift Guide 2015

We received an Etch a Sketch to facilitate this post.

I’m betting 99% of you have played with an Etch a Sketch at some point or another. I know I spent quite a bit of time throughout my childhood making all sorts of creations and figuring out various ways to write out my name across the screen. There’s just something fun and almost addicting about it, which is probably why it’s still going strong 100 years after its inception.

The Etch a Sketch is a great gift for any child, or a fun nostalgic item for someone who played with one as a child. You can find them online and in pretty much every big-box store out there!

Green Toys Dump Truck


Holiday Gift Guide 2015

We love Green Toys, and our kids have had several of their vehicles over the years. Their products are made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emission. Chunky, sturdy, and durable, the fleet features a front loader with a moveable scooper, cement mixer with a revolving drum, and a dump truck with a classic open-box bed.

Perfect in a sand box, toy box, or gift box, these pint-sized trucks are just right for little hands, and can easily be tossed in a diaper bag for on-the-go fun. Each vehicle comes with its own bulldog construction worker, and the figures are interchangeable among all three. Great for individual play, or sharing and swapping with friends.

No BPA, phthalates, or PVC, and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Packaged with recyclable materials and printed with soy ink.

We received the dumper, which is smaller than some of their other trucks like the fire engine, for instance. We plan to give this to our baby nephew so that it can be one of his first trucks when he gets old enough to play! You can find this truck, and many other Green Toys, on Amazon.

Blu Bot Robot Great for Beginning Robot Enthusiasts


Holiday Gift Guide 2015


We received a Blu Bot Robot from Silverlit to facilitate this post. All opinions are honest and are our own.

Our oldest son, who’s 8, has had a robot on the top of his Christmas list for months. To be honest, we were a little hesitant to buy him one because we weren’t sure if it’d be something he’d lose interest in quickly. When I got the opportunity to try out the Blu Bot, it was a great chance to test the robot waters.


The Blu Bot is available from Silverlit and has two modes of play:


  • Pre-programmed steps for moonwalk style movement
  • Built-in I/R sensor for motion detection
  • Different facial expressions when robot moves


  • Gesture control, robot moves per screen touch and see the real time movement from the dedicated app
  • Voice changer brings extra fun
  • Spy function for recording and playing messages

If you want to do Bluetooth mode, there’s a free app available from the app store that’s easy to use and have a lot of fun with.

The bottom line is this: The Blu Bot is a great starter robot. It has some programmable movements which kids will have fun with, and the spy function is something straight out of movies (and who doesn’t want to have a tool in their arsenal with a little brother or sister around?). Our boys had fun with it and argued over who got to play with it next. A few weeks out they play with it a lot less, but at its lower price point I still feel like it’s a worthwhile purchase if your child really shows a lot of interest in robotics.

Put HP Envy 5540 & HP Instant Ink Under the Tree This Year!


Holiday Gift Guide 2015

This post is compensated, but all opinions are honest and are my own.

We all have those people on our list that are so hard to shop for, right? I know I do! I spend countless hours researching ideas for gifts so I can give something that will be appreciated and useful.

The HP Envy 5540 e-All-in-One printer is a perfect gift idea for virtually anyone. Whether your college-aged son needs a printer for class projects, or your mother wants to scan old family photos, the Envy works for everyone and is definitely something that will get lots of use. It lets you do printing, scanning, and copying.

Right now when you buy the HP Envy 5540 e-All-in-One printer you’ll also get 3 months free of HP Instant Ink!

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Take Your Phone’s Photos to the Next Level with Olloclip


Holiday Gift Guide 2015

We received the Olloclip to facilitate this post. All opinions are honest and our own.

We take a lot of photos in our family. I might currently have more than 10,000 photos on my phone. Maybe. So when I learned about the Olloclip lens I knew this was right up my alley, and I couldn’t wait to try it out.

The 4-in-1 Olloclip lens is compact, and easy to use. It features four advanced optic quick-change lenses (Fisheye, Wide-Angle, Macro 10x & 15x) that weigh in at less than an ounce.


The Olloclip enhances your field-of-view beyond the phone’s built-in camera. The Fisheye and Wide-Angle lenses enable you to capture more – ideal for photographing panoramic landscapes or a snapping a selfie with a group of friends. Access the Macro lenses by unscrewing the Fisheye and Wide-Angle lenses to photograph crisp close-ups and get detail-oriented beyond the naked eye.

This pocket-sized, award-winning design now works on both front and rear-facing cameras; so you can let your photos and selfies run wild. It also comes with 3 wearable pendants.

You can find the Olloclip online at olloclip.com!

Go Retro with Lava Lamps!


Holiday Gift Guide 2015


We received a lava lamp to facilitate this post. 

I always thought lava lamps were incredibly cool growing up, but I never owned one (I know, I know, I totally missed out!). There’s just something timelessly fun and cool about the lava lamp, and now there are all sorts of fun plays on it with themes like the Beatles and more. We got a classic lava lamp celebrating their anniversary, and our boys think it’s super-cool. We turn it on every night!



If you’d like to add a lava lamp to your home decor, you can find them online in a variety of colors and themes!

Hampton Forge Knife Set & Block


We received a knife set and block to facilitate our review. All opinions are honest and are our own.

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

We love to cook, and anyone can tell you that having a good knife set is one of the most important things when it comes to tools. We have some knives, but I’ve been wanting to expand our arsenal and was excited to discover this knife set from Hampton Forge.


The set comes with 14 pieces including the knife block. You also get an 8″ chef knife, 8″ bread knife, 5.5″ Santoku knife, 5″ utility serrated knife, six 4.5″ steak knives, 3.5″ paring knife, kitchen shears, and sharpening steel.

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Otterbox My Symmetry Case: Great Customizable Gift!


We received an Otterbox case & inserts to facilitate this post. We weren’t compensated monetarily, and all opinions are honest and our own.

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

My husband recently got an iPhone 6, and we were looking for the perfect case for him. If you’ve gone case shopping recently, you’ll know there are a ton of options out on the market – but none were him, exactly. Or there’d be a case he kind of liked, but didn’t want to invest $50 in only to be tired of it a month later.

The Otterbox MySymmetry Series provides the perfect solution for any smartphone owner. MySymmetry Series clear iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s cases show off your iPhone while protecting against scratches, dings and drops.



There’s more, though! The My Symmetry series allows you to use inserts (and Otterbox has a lot to choose from) to give your phone a custom look – and since the inserts are really inexpensive, you can buy several and change them out as often as you want.

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