Category Archives: Holidays

Geeky Gift Guide 2017 – Part One

Part of the fun in attending a geek convention like Clover Con, Dragon Con or the Steampunk World’s Fair, is a tour of the vendors area and the artist’s alley/art show.  Since I don’t have a million-dollar budget to buy everything I like, I pick up vendor business cards for future reference.

Both amazon and elfster have little dashboard buttons so you can automatically add stuff from other websites to your wishlists!  Please consider adding some of these geeky merchants/artists to your wishlist for the holidays!

Geeky Grown-Ups


Geeks Bearing Gifts

This Etsy shop, run by Thomas Nackid (who bears a bit of a resemblance to Mark Ruffalo) has beautiful geeky jewelry with cool quotes on it.





Carrie Hawks – Fantasy Cat Artist at

Pins, prints, bookmarks, stationary and jewelry made with images of the fantastical cats she paints!



Zombie Love Squad

Beautifully fluffy cat ears and tails, stuffed monster dolls, and a few other surprises!







Celtic and Fantasy Art by Kevin Dyer

Cast paper originals, fine woven tapestries, high quality prints, digital downloads.







Sugar Lagoon – Kitten Dreams & Pastel Things

Pretty fantasy kitty themed art, plushies, keychains, enamel pins, wallets, etc.





O Christmas Geek!

So many geeky holiday ornaments! So many fandoms! Game of Thrones, Fairies, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, etc.





Third Half Studios

Geeky dinnerware, posters, prints.

Old-fashioned arts and crafts like your grandma would make…if your grandma was disturbed in some way.


trans Transfiguring Adoption  Your purchase goes to support resources for adoptive/foster families and children. They’ve got shirts, coffee mugs, stickers etc in their site’s shop.

“On average, across the U.S., current foster care rates (of compensation provided by govt.) must be raised by 36 percent in order to reach the Foster Care Minimum Adequate Rates for Children (the “Foster Care MARC”)…. In some states, rates are less than half of what it actually costs to care for a child in foster care.”

 If you’d like to sponsor a Foster Placement Surival Kit yourself: Click here

Survival Kit Details

-Welcome Pamphlet
-Papa John’s Gift Card ($15)
When your normal routine is disturbed it causes stress. Having to cook dinner just adds to the stress of the day.
– Nightlight
Many foster children have had traumatic events happen at night. A night light is an essential item that can easily be forgotten on the shopping list.
-Trust Based Relational Intervention DVD
This DVD introduces parents to vital information from Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross that will show foster parents how to handle/understand behaviors in foster children.
-Build-A-Bear Gift Card ($15)
Some children were NOT allowed to bring toys or clothes with them when they left their birth family’s home. Build-A-Bear offers foster parents the opportunity to bond with the child by helping them make a new stuffed animal friend.
-Children’s book about foster care
This tool is imperative as kids will be confused about the situation they find themselves. A book opens up an opportunity for discussion and bonding.
-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book
-Foster – Adoptive Discussion Tool for Harry Potter (First 3 Chapters)
A sample of Transfiguring Adoption’s online tool that allows foster families to open up the channels of healthy and nurturing conversation with the children in their care.
-Wooden Fidget Puzzle
Foster children are dealing with a lot of change that is out of their control and this is paired with all the existing trauma. A fidget is designed for any age person to play with or handle to help calm themselves. These can help parents stop a meltdown as it starts.
-Robbie the Rabbit Foster Care Brochure
Robbie the Rabbit is a series of books designed to help children understand foster care and adoption. The brochure made for children briefly helps a parent talk to a child about foster care and see if the child might benefit from their helpful books.

Sock Dreams

All kinds of cool socks! Chemistry, math, geeky media, creative patterns, etc.






shldrgn1 Sundreams & Myths

Plush stuffed animals – featuring poseable & wearable shoulder dragons / dragonets and a veritable menagerie of other mythological /fantasy creatures.



firefly isolated


Ian Leino – Graphic Design & Illustration

Stained Glass window clings, tshirts, prints, etc. Firefly, Star Trek, Harry Potter, and many more!









Charlie & The Chocolate Factory necklace!


Sparkle! Designs!

Quote prints & jewelry, mugs, lip balm,




More great geeky gift suggestions coming in Part Two!

Uncommonly Good Gifts For the Special People In Your Life (That Includes You, Too!)

In the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, one of the ‘languages’, or main ways a person may best express or receive love, is “Giving gifts”.   I like to put a lot of thought into a gift, trying to get to know the person, what they enjoy, what would make them happy and what would best make them feel cared about. I also enjoy such gifts – ones that someone obviously put a lot of thought into, not just snagged at a convenience store on the way over (sometimes with the price tag still attached).

The best gifts I received and the ones I gave that got the best response were the ones that were SPECIAL!  Ones that you didn’t find on practically every big-box chain-store’s shelves.

Gifts that you may never have known about but once you see it, you just know that this was MEANT to be in your life! Or in a loved-one’s life. I’ll let you in on a secret: there’s a veritable treasure trove (good for wives or s.o.’s – hint, hint!) of such items at Uncommon Goods! 😀

THIS is definitely on my husband’s wish list:

Bonsai Forest
A DIY bonsai forest! How cool is that?
Aquaponic Garden
Or an Aquaponic Herb Garden!

And for the kids –

edible chemistry set
CHEMISTRY they can EAT!!!

Although, to be honest, I’d probably give all those gifts to myself. 😀  The hubster and kids can just look on in envy at my newly acquired awesome gifts. 😀

However, there are SO MANY amazingly terrific things on this site, that you’ll never have to resort to coffee mugs or socks ever again.

If you’re stuck for something truly special to give to your wife or mother for her anniversary, they’ve got a great selection of items already curated.

What makes it even nicer is that Uncommon Goods sells products that weren’t made at the expense of harming people or animals. <3

In addition to finding uncommonly great gifts for your loved ones (including yourself!), another wonderful thing about Uncommon Goods that I really like is that they donate $1 to charity for every purchase made. So far they’ve donated over $1,000,000 through their Better To Give program!

They’re also founding members of B Corporation, an organization that was “created to help customers understand the social and environmental impact of their purchases. The B seal means that a company has met the standards outlined in a comprehensive screening questionnaire, which evaluates a company on issues ranging from providing a living wage, to lessening their impact on the environment, to giving back to the community.”

I strongly urge you to go take a look at the amazing selection at Uncommon Goods, you won’t regret it!

And if you happen to be a friend or relative of mine, my birthday’s coming up… 😀  I’m really jonesing for one of their recycled glass nightlights – so beautiful! Those would probably also make a very memorable housewarming gift!

These teeny earring vases would also be PERFECT!



This post is a sponsored partnership between Twice Blessed Life and Uncommon Goods. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. Pictures and italicized text are from the Uncommon Goods website.

Tis Time, Tis Time For Xmas Cards! A Holiday Card Giveaway!


One of my favorite winter holiday traditions is the giving (and hopefully receiving) of xmas cards.  Whether your holiday greetings are for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, Solstice, or the upcoming New Year, there most likely is a card for that.

Increasingly though, eco-conscious folks are swapping out their paper (aka dead tree) cards for spiffy new online versions!

I’ve been asked to host a giveaway for a very forward-thinking stationary website that in addition to its traditional paper offerings, also has some absolutely lovely online greeting cards as well! Paperlesspost .com!

Just a few quick minutes of clicking and I was ready to go with this whimsical online card for 8 coins per recipient (I added some fancy backdrops, fancy virtual envelope options and a reply card that are not shown here) 😀


They also have online versions of photo cards as well!

To make the giving of holiday cards even more exciting, I’m hosting a sponsored** giveaway for a prize of 1000 coins from Paperless Post! ($90 USD ARV)

Method of entry is a piece of cake: Simply write a comment below with your favorite holiday story! Touching, hilarious, shocking – let’s hear it! 😀

My own favorite story is the tale of the Great Rice Pudding Massacre!😀

Way back over a decade ago, I lived in Japan and decided to host a potluck holiday party for my ESL students. My husband had just finished his third go-round of wiping and mopping our dining room floor when disaster struck!  I had just taken a rather large tray of rice pudding out of our mini-oven (Japan usually doesn’t have either baking ovens or rice pudding!) and set it on top of the oven to cool while I finished stirring a pot on the range. While my back was turned, the ENTIRE TRAY of rice pudding slipped off and fell – SPLAT!!! – face down on the floor!  We madly scooped it back into the tray, sprinkled it with more cinnamon and re-wiped the floor just before our first guest rang the doorbell! I was mildly concerned that someone would find something weird in it, but that was very unlikely considering how thoroughly my husband had cleaned the floor beforehand. 😀

**RULES:  Just one entry per person, and a winner will be chosen randomly from all who comment.  Entry period ends 11/28/16 at 11:59pm and a winner will be chosen on 11/29/16. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hrs to respond before a backup winner will be chosen. This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of 1000 coins for Paperless Post ($90USD ARV).  Open to US residents, age 18+.


Caution: Holiday Travel Ahead!

“Don’t drive after dark on a holiday, in fact – best not to drive at all on a holiday!”               – My Mom

Normally, we think that holidays and family road trips go together like cookies ‘n cream, like that song from Grease with the weird lyrics, and like chocolate with practically anything. That’s what I used to think, and felt my mother was being a tad over-reactive and worrying over nothing.

Until I experienced driving at dusk, on a holiday, down a one-way street – with a clearly inebriated guy in the other car that was barreling towards me from the wrong direction! And I had my kids in the car with me.  Luckily the other guy responded to my flashing my high-beams and realized he’d done an oopsie and pulled into a side-street before driving away.  And this wouldn’t be the only time I’d witness something similar.

At least two other times, I witnessed some bereft-of-brains, who-knows-how-many-brewskis-drunk driver going the wrong way down a one-way highway lane. One of those I called in to the highway police, while my husband drove us even more carefully than he was already doing. “Sure, we know about it,” the police stated. “We’ve gotten quite a few calls about that one and officers are on the way.”

A bit older and wiser, with experience under my belt, I’m less inclined to brush off my mother’s wisdom.  Now we make sure that if we need to travel on a holiday, we get it done before darkness falls if at all possible, and we keep a careful eye out for drivers who may have had a little too much liquid fun (among other kinds) at their own holiday celebration.

According to the National Safety Council’s data – about 405 traffic fatalities are expected for Labor Day Weekend, and about 30 million people will be driving to and from their Labor Day destinations, compared to the 2.5 million who’ll choose flying instead. Wow – 405 fatalities – and that’s not even counting other folks who may also be severely injured in those accidents!

Sure we want an awesome big blow-out Labor Day Weekend bash to close out the summer with (and to celebrate the kiddos going back to school – YAY!!!), we want to relax and take it easy, de-stress, unwind and let the good times roll – but as the infographic* below shows, those who party hearty don’t always make an effort to avoid intoxicated driving altogether by designating a sober driver or taking a taxi.

(We’ve also got Halloween coming up soon: October is the second-most deadly month in terms of car accidents! 70% of those happen at crosswalks or intersections, and 70% of the deaths and injuries to children ages 5-9 were from the littles running into the road. Keep a firm grip on your littles on Halloween, please!)

Please be safety-conscious while you’re out there this weekend and all holidays. Your holiday memories should be happy ones.


*Infographic supplied by Moms With Voices Media and

This is a sponsored post that I received compensation for from Moms With Voices Media.  All opinions expressed in the written text are my own and were not influenced by Moms With Voices Media or

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