Gift ideas

Frog Hollow Farm

13 July 2012
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On a rare visit to the Ferry Building farmers market in San Francisco several years ago, I discovered Frog Hollow Farm, whose lusciously flavorful fruit brought me back to the pre-silicon Silicon Valley of my childhood. Even into the 1980s, a few family orchards still remained as shady green oases amongst the suburbs, with farm […]

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Discovery Monday

12 December 2011
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Once again, I have an assortment of tidbits from my wayward travels on the web, gathered up for you like a motley bouquet. It’s not the freshest – I save my little bits over months – but I love having my collection of treasures here so I can always find them again. I was amazed […]

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Holiday gift ideas 2011 (part 2)

7 December 2011
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After wrapping up my holiday gift ideas for this year, I’m looking forward to getting back to food. I don’t know about you, but since we finished our glorious Thanksgiving leftovers, we’ve been eating a lot of nothing around here. We’re building up anticipation – or slimming down, depending on how you look at it […]

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Holiday gift ideas 2011 (part 1)

4 December 2011
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I had an early taste of holiday shopping this year when, at 11:45 pm after a full day of cooking and feasting, I hugged my Thanksgiving lingerers goodbye and drove off in the dark with my oldest son to GameStop’s Black Friday midnight opening (limited-edition Zelda Nintendo 3DS – don’t ask). As I stood shivering […]

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Flameless candles

30 November 2011
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The surprise hits of my Thanksgiving table were these unexpectedly realistic flameless candles. Aside from birthday cake toppers, I haven’t had candles in the house since I became a parent a decade ago. With real wax, softly flickering light and light vanilla scent, these LED pillar candles are a surprisingly satisfying – and happily carefree […]

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Celebrating springtime: Easter tree and gifts

15 April 2011
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It’s finally spring in Ohio. Grass is green, leaves are budding, and the sunlight is blessedly warm. Winter’s brittle ice tree is now a jauntily swaying festivity of rainbow eggs. My clever friend Jenny conjured up this surprise for the kids. It’s like a Christmas tree but better – easy, fun, inexpensive – and best […]

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Magna-Tiles: Greatest toy ever

31 January 2011
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Until we got these for Christmas, I thought Legos were the greatest toy ever. But now I’m all about Magna-Tiles. Colorful plastic shapes with imbedded magnets, they are easy enough for my two year old to build with but so ingenious even adults can’t resist. They have become the one toy that never gets put […]

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Attention shoppers: Holiday discount codes

17 December 2010

I’m actually leaving my house today to brave the mall mob for those few items I can’t confidently buy online. I looked up some discounts and thought I’d share for any other last-minute shoppers among you. Chinese grandmas love a deal (when we have to spend money at all).

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Gift ideas for school-aged kids

3 December 2010
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It gets harder to make general gift recommendations as kids grow older and their tastes more defined. I’ll share some fun finds from my research for my own two school-aged kids, boy and girl, and for their their many cousins and friends. As with the preschool kids, I have categories Pretend, Create, Learn and Move […]

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Gift ideas for preschoolers

2 December 2010
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Preschoolers are at the golden age for gifts – old enough to appreciate them and young enough to like just about anything. But choices out there are endless, and it’s all too easy to end up with a house full of abandoned toys. Here are my ideas for toys that last, in five categories: pretend, […]

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