5 Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Grandma

Have a Weekend Get Away with Your Grandma

If I could go back in time, when my grandparents were alive I would spend more time with them and get to know them better.  It’s amazing how sometimes our grandparents or even our own parents don’t think their lives in “the olden days” would interest us to talk about.  As I’ve found if you ask just questions, they are actually filled with fascinating stories about their younger lives, their childhoods, loves, interests and passions.

Trust me, time goes by so fast and before you know it, it will be gone.

I think it would be lovely to have taken my grandmother to a bed and breakfast in a quaint town, for even just a weekend.  A nice town that you can see the sights, have a leisurely lunch and then head back to the B & B for afternoon tea and a long chat about days gone by.

It will be a memory you’ll both cherish.

Gourmet Cooking Classes

If your grandma enjoys cooking like mine did, what a fun and interesting gift gourmet cooking classes would be!  Check online for classes that are offered near you.  And to make it even more special, do it together as a lovely grandchild / grandmum day!

Pottery Painting Classes

A lot of towns have cool shops that you can go into, pick out an unfinished  piece of pottery to paint.  It’s a lot of fun and it gives you a chance to be creative and whimsical and in the end you get a usable piece of artwork to keep!  It’s pretty affordable too.  It would be a super cool afternoon painting with your grammy!

Design a Scrapbook of Family Photos

Most older folks have pretty much all they really need.  One thing however I think they do enjoy receiving, are photos of family and friends.

A thoughtful way to give your grandmother a cherished family keepsake is a handcrafted scrapbook.

There are lovely scrap-booking tools now.  At Michael’s Crafts the other day I was perusing all of the beautiful accessories they carry, from gorgeous papers, interesting stickers, fancy scissors and more.

I think having a scrapbook of vintage photos or black and white photos would be extra special and so beautiful.  It’s easy to take digital photos and print them in black and white or sepia tone.  Add some incredible papers in a lovely album and you’ve created a very special memory for your grandmum.

Dinner and a Live Show

Get decked out, put on your Sunday finest and start out your night at a delicious restaurant and then grab a fabulous live show. Whether it’s a musical, the ballet, symphony or a Shakespearean play; live shows are always a good time.  Just pick one you think she’ll enjoy.  There are always plenty going on around the holidays.  The Nutcracker is always a good choice!


Unseen Portland ~ Portland Maine Stripped of Pretense

I miss home.  Well, my true home.  Portland, Maine.

So I find myself frequently perusing sites that have photography of Portland to make me feel a bit closer to my friends and family and my roots.

Today, I came across this site and found myself looking through 100 pages of Portland photos.  Many of the places and graffiti I recognize and it made me laugh.  Even if you’re not from there, I’m sure you’ll find some things to make you smile.  Enjoy.


Vermont Colby Cheese Soup

When we lived in Vermont we frequently went to our friends deli and got their cheese soup.  It was amazingly rich, thick and filling.

Vermont Colby Cheese Soup

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup each carrots, celery, green peppers, and onion, diced as fine as possible.
3 cups grated Colby cheese
2 cups milk warmed
Salt and cayenne pepper


Make a roux of the flour and butter. Add the stock and the vegetables. Bring to a simmer and cook slowly for 30 minutes. Add the cheese and bring to just before the boil, stirring until the cheese is melted and well incorporated. Add the milk and reheat again, but do not boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Note: If you want more cheese flavor, simply increase the amount of cheese)

This recipe serves 6.

5 Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Guys

Hire a Limo and Hit the Town!

Not many people have been in a limo since their prom.  This is something that is super luxe and super fun, but it won’t necessarily be crazy expensive. It runs on average for a luxury vehicle or a stretch limo, about $125. per hour, plus  tip.

Let’s face it, when can you have a nice glass of whiskey, listen to tunes and tool around the town in a luxury vehicle?

Here is my thought… Don’t tell your dude.  Just tell him to “be ready at whenever o’clock and be dressed for ______. But, don’t mention the limo.  Just let it pull up and wow him!

Jeans and a tee shirt, black tie.  Whatever your thing is.  Limo driver don’t care!

Now, the key part here is for you to wear what he likes you to wear.  If he loves seeing you in high heels and a skin tight shimmy dress, well then girl…. go the extra mile.  Hair, nails – the whole nine. This is after all, your gift to HIM. And trust me, he’ll love that.

If you’re in a same sex relationship, the same rules apply.  If he likes to see you in jeans, there you go.  A gorgeous suit… oh yeah! Go get your hair did, and a good, clean shave too.  He wants to see you looking and smelling good!

Just be sure to dress appropriately for wherever you’ll end up.  Club, dinner, drinks.   Or are you just driving around, drinking and getting frisky?

Don’t forget to bring some good music and maybe arrange for snacks too.  The average limo rental is about 3 hours.  Think of the fun you can have!

Oh, and do remember to tip your driver at the end of the night.  It would be rude, not to.

Have a Personal Concert at Your House

If you and your love are music aficionados such as we are, what a cool thing it would be to have your own personal concert in your home.  It does not have to be a string quartet or a harpist; though that would be a cool addition to a lovely private candlelight dinner.   If Bach and Beethoven are not your thing, it could be a few Celtic musicians for an impromptu Irish session with some Bodhrans, fiddles, Uilleann Pipes and  yummy pints of Guinness, or your favorite local rock band in your back yard with your friends and a keg!  Just be sure to invite the neighbors, or deal with angry 5-0 later!  You’ve been forewarned.

Most local musicians are more than happy to have a gig.  Just be sure to negotiate the price ahead of time and pay them AFTER the event.  It’s usually expected by musicians, unless otherwise negotiated.

Make Him Food!

Yes, it’s absolutely true. The way to a mans heart is through his stomach.  So get cooking!

Make him the most amazing, most delicious meal ever.  And make it with love!

I don’t want to hear, “I can’t cook.”

I wasn’t born a cook folks.  I followed recipes and learned how to cook with practice. With today’s YouTube tutorials and recipes on the internet, you have no reason to use that as an excuse.  If you can read and watch TV, you can cook.  Just don’t try to cook some fancy souffle first time through the gate.  Stay elegant and simple and use good ingredients.  If you need ideas, write me and I’ll be happy to give you some recipes for easy to cook, but DELICIOUS food.

Here’s the thing, make sure you have enough time to properly execute this dinner.  It should not be rushed into 1/2 hour after work, when you’re exhausted, before you watch such and such on TV.

This is something that should be well timed and thought out in order to come out well.  Think things through and you’ll have an amazing, great tasting meal for two.

But trust me, make him a good, home-cooked, romantic dinner… minus the distractions of surfing the web, or your cell phone Tweeting and texting.

What an awesome and romantic gift!

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Perhaps, you’re in the majority (like me) and don’t have hundreds to spend on a gift for your guy.

Okay yes, I’m Irish and yes, it’s my favorite.  But, I’ve also tried many more expensive brands to only be lighter in the pocket and very let down.  I have to say, hands down for my $35.00, it’s still the best whiskey for my buck.  It’s smooth.  Not overly caramel tasting.  Just good.  Real good.

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Corn

I don’t even know how to begin to express how fab this caramel corn is.  My sister in law got it for my husband (her bro) for the holidays last year and it was gone in minutes.  It’s a fun, affordable gift for guys or gals!  Order extra or you’ll be mad at me!  Makes for a YUMMY stocking stuffer.


Wonderful Surprises for the Holiday

Wonderful Surprises
May there be many wonderful surprises in store for you this holiday.All Holiday Cards are 5 x 7”, museum quality and feature 19th c. holiday imagery obtained from old scrapbooks and museum collections. Each card possesses a heartwarming poem upon the backside, and includes ornately die-cut envelopes. 10 cards/ 10 envelopes. http://www.victoriantradingco.com/store/catalogimages/1a/iH1221.html

Crabmeat Stuffed Sole Fillets

100 years ago I had the best job ever!  I was a fish monger at Harbor Fish Market in Portland, Maine for quite a few years.

It was a BLAST!

I used to have fresh fish at my fingertips daily and I used to prepare it often.  Now, it’s not so readily available since moving from the coastal area, so it’s become a luxury in our house.  For those of you who are lucky enough to have fresh fish around, this is an easy and delicious recipe.

If you’re ever in Portland, Maine… Do stop by Harbor Fish.  It’s the greatest!

4-6 fresh Sole fillets
• 1 cup cooked crab meat
• 2 tablespoons butter
• ¼ cup minced bell pepper
• ¼ cup minced onion
• ¼ cup bread crumb
• 4 tablespoons cream
• salt and pepper
• paprika
• fresh parsley, minced

Sauté bell pepper and onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Do not brown. Remove from heat. Mix in crab meat, bread crumb, cream, salt and pepper to taste. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of mix onto one open fillet and roll to close with ends under. Place on foiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture and fillets. Dot with additional butter and sprinkle with paprika and fresh parsley. Bake in 375 oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves two to four.

5 Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Gals

A Night at the Night

Voted as one of the top 10 sexiest hotels in the U.S.

#1 As its name suggests, Night Hotel, a modern and monochrome boutique hotel in New York city features very little light, making this the perfect spot for a romantic rendezvous with a significant other. Guest rooms are cozy and come complete with a copy of the Kama Sutra in the nightstand. Even the walls are covered with erotic art, with one trip adviser noting “The lobby has photos of nearly nude women in masks that aren’t for the prude!” Average nightly rate: $251. (TripAdvisor)

Romantic Dinner for Two

Unless you are an amazing chef, leave the cooking to a pro and hire a personal chef for one night. If you live in an area that does not offer this service, check into local restaurants.  You might be able to hire one of their chefs.

Create a gorgeous menu with the help of your chef, complete with wine pairings, appetizers and dessert. Set a beautiful table, *see Pinterest for ideas and woo that girl all night.

It goes without saying, the babes… while we love them… need to go to grandmas house for the night!


Lingerie from Paris France

Forget V.S. and go straight to the source of sexy lingerie.  What girl would not be wooed by Parisian panties?


Name a Star After Your Gal

I think it would be deliciously romantic if the Mr. named a star after me, or after US!

Your star name will be registered in the Universal Star Catalog’s database featuring hundreds of thousands of stars numerically designated by the world renowned Smithsonian Astrophysical Institute. Each star is copyrighted with its precise stellar coordinates allowing the star recipient, friends, family or anyone – including future generations – to identify the star name and locate the star in the sky using a telescope.


Kama Sutra Honey Dust

There are a lot of intimate products out there, you know… Spencer Gifts variety.  Um, pretty awful tasting.

Having tried more than a few of these overly flavored, sticky and just nasty flavored potions, the whole Kama Sutra line won’t disappoint.  Yummy and so delicious to kiss off your lover.  One of our all time favorites.