Steph's (Semi) Ultimate Gift Guide 2016 | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

December 13, 2016

Steph's (Semi) Ultimate Gift Guide 2016

* This post contains affiliate links.

It's that wonderful time of year again, where we frantically rack our brains to think of the perfect gift for all the amazing people in our lives. I'm going to be honest: sometimes gift giving can be overwhelming and exhausting. Even when it is born out of great intentions. I absolutely LOVElovelove finding that penultimate gift that totally makes someone's day.

But, man, sometimes it's hard to know what to get!

Well, friends. I'm here to make our lives a little easier. As I am wont to do this time of year, I have compiled a few of my fave picks into a gift guide to help guide your gift buying. These are items the Andersons have on their own holiday lists.

Or stuff we just really, really dig.  

For Kids

Balance Beans

Balance Beans is a logic game and math game all in one. Set up the Red Beans according to the Challenge Card. Then carefully place the colorful Beans on the Seesaw to keep it from teetering. When you balance the Seesaw, you are actually balancing an equation! As the challenges get harder, you’ll rely less on trial and error – and more on math and reasoning skills. This bean-filled logic game is a fun way to introduce young learners to elementary algebra. Available on Amazon and

Clue Master

Clue Master is a fun logic game that develops the skill of deductive reasoning, a key ability in math, science, computer programming, and many other fields. In this game, you may deduce information based on what must be true even though you can’t see it directly. The more you play, the more deductive tricks and strategies you’ll learn as you reason logically from the clues you’re given! Available on Amazon and

Yoga Spinner

Yoga Spinner is a delightful introduction to yoga that encourages teamwork and healthy physical activity. Give the spinner a whirl and perform the pose on the corresponding Yoga Pose Card. If you can hold the pose for 10 seconds, you keep the card, and the first player to collect a card in each color wins! You’ll need a little luck and teamwork, and a bit more flexibility and balance to win this entertaining yoga game. Available on Amazon.

BYOU “Be Your Own You” Magazine

BYOU Magazine, published by Heartlight Girls Publications, LLC, is for girls ages 7-15 and helps build self-esteem in fun and empowering ways with features on positive celebrity role models, stories about real girls making a difference, tips, advice, games, crafts, contests, jokes, and much more. Topics include friendships, bullying, inner beauty, empowerment, community service, and other timely subjects to help today’s girl glow from the inside out. Founded and published by Debra Gano, who is a national self-esteem expert, best-selling author of the award-winning Heartlight Girls series, and former professional model & actress (as well as a mom to her 13-year-old daughter!) believes ALL girls deserve to have healthy self-esteem


Welcome to the world of Vivitz ! The Fun, Flexible, Girls Activity system, where you can "Connect, Create, Decorate" yourself, your room, your world! Soft to the touch Vivitz pieces connect together to create everything from fashions for you, to decorations for your room! My kids are currently obsessed with this fashionable building system.

Rubik's Cube

The world's #1 brain-teasing puzzler is still going strong with billions of puzzling combinations, but only one solution! Scramble the colored squares on this addictive and multi-dimensional cube. Then twist, turn, and rotate to match up the colors again on all 9 sides! Can you master the mysteries of the Rubik's Cube ? Can you improve your time once you solve it? Pit yourself against the ultimate brain teaser! 


Activity-packed, portable playtime. The fun-filled FlashPad Infinite is a handheld electronic touchscreen device with 16 built-in games like Catch Me, Remember Me, Chase Me, and lots more. Its 16 LED light circle touch points and seven different LED lights ensure that there's never a dull moment.

Tickets to see Frog and Toad at Arden Theatre

A Year with Frog and Toad follows the unlikely friendship between cheerful Frog and the rather grumpy Toad through four fun-filled seasons. Their friendship blossoms and grows as they learn many life lessons along the way. Filled with musical numbers that will make you laugh and cry, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD is a show to delight every age. The Arden Theater will be presenting A Year With Frog and Toad with music by Robert Reale and book and lyrics by Willie Reale from November 23, 2016 – January 29, 2017. Based on the beloved Frog and Toad children’s stories written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, A Year With Frog and Toad is the first of two Children’s Theatre offerings during the 2016/17 Season. Buy tickets now!

For Grown Ups

Magazine/Newspaper Subscriptions

Hubby and I believe in the importance of journalism and supporting the print medium of newspapers and magazines, especially during this season of life where these things are under fire and threatened to extinction. As a way to show your support, consider gifting a subscription to your loved ones - or even yourself! A few of our favorites:

Poetry Magazine
Food Network Magazine
The New York Times
The Washington Post
Womens Running Magazine
The New Yorker

Darn Tough Socks

Darn Tough Socks socks are American-made and simply the best. That's all. We wear them almost exclusively.

Cave Tools BBQ Grill Tools Set

SUPER HEAVY DUTY bbq grill tools set - We use 20% thicker stainless steel than normal barbecue sets so they are extremely durable and will never bend or break when picking up large pieces of meat. SPATULA BOTTLE OPENER FOR TAILGATING - serrated edge for cutting, contoured tip for easily flipping burgers, oversized face for large steaks - Grill Tongs Have 6 Teeth for turning hot dogs and sausages & Includes Metal Loop that Latches Shut for Easy Storage. DISHWASHER SAFE FOR EASY CLEANUP - Extra Wide Hanging Hooks with Leather Straps fit on any grill tools holder including Weber Genesis and all other barbeque models.

Amazon Fire TV Stick  

Amazon Fire TV Stick connects to your TV's HDMI port. Just grab and go to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus,, music, and much more. The Amazon Fire TV Stick has changed the way we watch TV. We love that all of our apps and networks are connected, the parental controls are great and integration is fantastic.

Settler's of Catan Board Game

The women and men of your expedition build the first two settlements. Fortunately, the land is rich in natural resources. You build roads and new settlements that eventually become cities. Will you succeed in gaining supremacy on Catan? Barter trade dominates the scene. Some resources you have in abundance, other resources are scarce. Ore for wool, brick for lumber - you trade according to what is needed for your current building projects. Proceed strategically! If you found your settlements in the right places and skillfully trade your resources, then the odds will be in your favor. But your opponents are smart too. Settler's of Catan Board Game is our favorite board game, hands down! Great for kids 10+.

Cheese Board Set

Because we're classy like that.

Turntable (with Built in Speakers)

Hubby has been into vinyls, so if you have a music fan in your life, this is a good recommendation!

Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker

The AeroPress coffee maker is a new kind of coffee press that brews coffee under ideal conditions: proper temperature, total immersion, and rapid filtering. This results in amazingly delicious coffee with a wide range of beautiful flavors but without bitterness and with very low acidity. Since its introduction the AeroPress has become a much beloved brewer for serious coffee lovers and coffee professionals around the world.

Other gift ideas

Hope you and yours have a happy holiday!

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