A Holiday Gift Guide for Book Lovers!

It’s that time of year! I don’t know about you, but I’m deep into holiday shopping and planning. Something you may or may not know about me is that I have a deep love of spreadsheets, and I personally think there’s an organizational tool for every occasion. If you’ve been looking for a way to corral your holiday gift shopping and spending, I have a free downloadable spreadsheet for you! I post a reminder about it every year, because I love to help people learn to love the spreadsheet life.

And if you’re looking to help fill it in? Well, how about a book-lover’s holiday gift guide? I’ve teamed up with several other writers to hunt down gift suggestions for all of the book-lovers on your list – and maybe even for you! Keep reading for lots of great ideas!

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1. Kindle Oasis $249.99

The new Kindle Oasis is the e-reader we’ve been waiting for, and it’s already been added to my Christmas list. Waterproof with built-in Audible, this 8GB WiFi-enabled reader will allow you to read your favorite historical romance novels in comfort and style.

Contributed by Cecelia Mecca, author of Medieval Romance

2. Purple Agate Bookends $32

Make your bookcase stand out with these gorgeous agate bookends, adding to the gems that you already have on your shelves. There are a variety of colors and RockParadise often runs a holiday discount.

Contributed by Emily Murdoch, author of Medieval, Regency, and Western historical romances

3. Literary Scarves $48

Get all wrapped up in a classic story and show some literary love with these bookish infinity scarves. Choose between Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, or Alice in Wonderland.

4. The Book Seat $40

Fed up getting cold hands holding your book in bed at night? Or do heavy books make your fingers sore? The Book Seat hands-free book holder is the perfect answer! Prop your book – or eReader – on the beanbag and the only time you’ll need to move a finger is to turn the page!

Contributed by Belle McInnes, author of Scottish historical romance

5. Literary Gifts for Book Lovers and Readers $18-45

Jewelry becomes even more romantic with inscriptions of popular book quotes. A favorite is a necklace etched with Mr. Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth Bennett. There are many handcrafted pieces of jewelry with a variety of quotes to choose from.

Contributed by Ellie St. Clair, author of Regency romance

6. Bordeaux Journal $13

These stunning gilded journals make a beautiful gift for any book lover. From Peter Pauper Press: “Luminous detailing in the forms of iridescent and gold foil highlights and gilded-gold page edging make this lovely journal shine.”

Gift idea from Ashley Merrick, author of sweet western historical romance

7. There’s Always Time for Tea$12.50

The idea of “tea time” is a luxurious concept, but it needn’t take an hour or be accompanied by a fox hunt. Treat yourself to a daily dose of antiquity with this literary set of 25 teabags. Each English Breakfast teabag is individually tagged with beloved quotes from your favorite authors.

Gift idea from K. C. Bateman, author of Regency Historical ‘Secrets & Spies’ series

8. Bookworm Necklace $32

Featuring the quote every historical romance reader self-identifies with, this gorgeous, simple necklace is handmade in England. “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her mind.” And yes – the artist offers it in both gold and silver, and even has a few other famous literary quotes available!

Gift idea from Jamaila Brinkley, author of historical fantasy romance

9. ‘All Those Who Wander’ Art Print $12.99

Take a book quote and early 20th-century dictionary pages out of the book and onto the wall with these prints from Vintage Art Co. I love the quotes, but images are also available! Each print is one of a kind.

Audrey Adair is the author of Scottish and time travel Historical Romance

10. Book Subscription Boxes (various)

For this, our bonus tenth gift, I picked something that I confess I’d probably get for myself in addition to giving as a gift. Subscription boxes are a huge deal right now, and what could be better than new books every month? There are several different options, depending on your taste in books – from YA to romance to literary fiction. Here’s a few of my favorites:

  • OwlCrate (YA books and swag!)
  • Ever After Box (A different romance themed box every month!)
  • Muse Monthly (Literary fiction with a focus on debut authors and marginalized voices!)
  • PageHabit (Books annotated by the authors, in multiple genres!)

I hope this guide has given you a few ideas for your shopping! I know I’ve gotten several ideas for the book-lovers on my list (and maybe a few things for yours truly…). Enjoy!

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Still Here, Still Shopping

Every blogger has a post that says ‘I should post more.’ Personally, I’m thinking about making it a standard disclaimer at the beginning of ALL my posts.

Life gets hectic around here at this time of year, as it does pretty much everywhere. So this is mostly just a quick note to say that I’m here, and to point you to my annual lifesaver during this season: my holiday organization guide. (There’s a link in the header of this website at all times, should you feel you need to come back and get prepared in, say, July.) My holiday shopping organization spreadsheet is a free download, and I’ve got some shopping tips and links in there, too.

As our group of family and friends keeps growing (at last count, we’re seating twenty-four for Thanksgiving!), my determination to remain the Best Gift-Giver stays strong. The spreadsheet is a vital tool in my quest for True Holiday Domination. Even if you’re not quite as weird about the holidays as I am, getting organized is always a good idea. Having a spreadsheet helps you plan and budget for an efficient and easy shopping season. Then you have more time to eat cookies. And isn’t that what the spirit of the season is really about?

 

Little Projects

With the prospect of moving looming, it’s time to finish all those little house projects that seem to never get done. It’s a little strange; we’ve done massive, massive renovations, but somehow we just seem to stall out on the little finishing details. Like, we were able to complete an entire kitchen renovation in the first trimester of my pregnancy, and managed to get the whole thing done in time to host Thanksgiving – but two years later, we still hadn’t hung the door to the coat closet.

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Well, tonight that changed.

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To-Do Wishlist

I have a lot of long-term projects, like everybody. Stuff I want to do, to get to, ‘eventually.’ I tend to get bogged down in everyday and shove it to the back burner, which is fine, but my problem is that when I do have time, all the things I wanted to do have slipped my mind. Which is why I spend a lot of time on Twitter and have very little to show for it.

To help myself remember to tackle all those things I want to do ‘someday,’ I decided I needed a To-Do Wishlist. Something that wasn’t my daily to-do list, but also wasn’t so far-reaching that it was a bucket list. I wanted something I could categorize, too; my projects tend to fall into difference spaces in my life. Some are parenting-related; some are writing-related; some are product designs that I’d like to get up and for sale. Each category has a list of stuff I’d like to get to, soonish.

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So I designed myself a list. And even better, I laminated it, using my delightful new toy. Now, I can slip one or two into the pocket of my daily planner to remind myself of things I want to do in my spare time; or I can post some up on the wall above my desk as a running tally of work to do (this might be a ‘new house’ thing – right now, my desk has a big window over it and no wall space).

And, since I’m a generous soul, I thought I’d make my To-Do Wishlist available as a free printable.

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Personalized Signs for the Discerning Toddler

This isn’t so much a project or a tutorial as simply a set of links. If your toddlers like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse anywhere near as much as mine do, you’ve probably considered doing some sort of Mickey activity, whether for a birthday party or a more everyday thing.

clubhouseI’ll assume that most readers will probably put this to a more elegant, impressive use than I did: My son likes to hide and play in the niche between our bar cabinet and the kitchen wall. He spends so much time there that we’ve started calling it his clubhouse. I think you can see where this is going.

If you’d like to make your own sign, whether for somebody’s every day fort or for place holders at a birthday party or a door sign or whatever, here’s what I did.

Continue reading Personalized Signs for the Discerning Toddler

How To Make A Construction Cake

My husband’s first kid birthday cake was, I have to say, an unqualified success. Not only was it delicious – vanilla cheesecake mousse filling! – and decorated to the nines with tiny excavation equipment in a very realistic scene, but it had a major surprise inside.

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The inside of the round part of the cake was diagonally striped in yellow and black, just like construction caution tape! It was a huge hit. I thought I’d do a quick writeup on how we did it.

Continue reading How To Make A Construction Cake