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15 Stocking Stuffers for Kids of all Ages Under $15 – Part 2 of Holiday Gift List

By November 11, 2017 Art, Books, Everything Else


This is me here again, with another edition of loved or much-requested items that will be sure hits as gifts. As much as I admit to falling into the trap of giving gift cards as gifts (which tends to be easier sometimes, and usually because I have not spent time planning to look into that perfect gift for a person). But it is possible, I have done that in the past and hope I can keep doing it more often going forward. Opening a wrapped present is so much more fun than opening (well, not really opening) a gift card!!

And if you have any questions about these toys, anything at all, feel free to let me know in the comments, and I will do my best to answer. Having either used almost all of these myself or having heard from the active users, I should hope I can feel qualified to answer at least some of them 🙂

Today’s list will fit in the stocking (some of them in a slightly larger one like we have at home!) and  all currently priced less than $15, some way lesser! These are all gifts I have bought over and over again to gift (and once definitely to keep!):

For kids who enjoy entertaining their audience, this book is perfect – the Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids. I cannot recall how many jokes I have heard my kids (especially my DD) say to us from this book.



For kids who love math, this game is cool, colorful, and can be taken on trips – comes in a trendy bag all its own. Sumoku has seen itself being played many a time and am sure was silently shouting out the answers while we pondered upon it. It is fun, smart, and well, fun!!


Do you have a budding chef in your family? Then this Toysmith Deluxe Chef Set is for her (and at the current price of less than $14, it is a steal indeed). And you could make it fit in the stocking if you pack it just right!


Are you looking for a gift to take with you on your trip? That can possibly fit in your purse and you can whip out anytime for that one kid who needs to be occupied. Currently under $10, Kanoodle fits the bill, literally!! Teases your brain and I am sure you will not be ready to share with your kid once you start playing it 🙂


For another perfect travel bag that will fit in your purse and can be played as a family game for hours of imaginative fun, here is Rory’s Story Cubes. I have an idea around for a while to use these to write a book of short stories!! It definitely can get those creative juices flowing for when you are facing writer’s block. But seriously, this is total family fun!



One more stocking stuffer game to keep that kid who could not fall asleep on the road trip while his sibling is dozing occupied – the the Thinkfun Gordian’s Knot. It definitely baffles me too every time we take it apart and we have already had it for years now!



This book set is adorable, it is Maurice Sendak, it is a gem. I have enjoyed reading it and it occupies a place of pride in my library (just a teeny bit of space at that). Maurice Sendak’s Nutshell Library is the perfect stocking stuffer.

The Rubiks Cube is listed as one of the most popular toys ever since its inception. This version of the cube is super smooth and easy to move




And if you have not already seen it or heard of it, Spot It here!! The kids make sure they have it with them on road trips (even now at ages 14 and 11 years) – it is fun, addictive, and keeps them busy, and not watching something on a device which makes us parents happy!


For more word fun, and if you are a Scrabble addict, then Bananagrams is the stocking stuffer game on the go for you.



Kangaroo’s Do You Want to Build a Snowman? I am sure hearing these words would lead to your kids singing the song, but really, you can build a snowman with this adorable kit. I do not have this exact kit myself but we do have foam putty that we have used to build snowmen before.

You know Monopoly is a game that can safely keep the kids occupied for hours on end, so here is a version to carry with you as a card game – the Hasbro Gaming Monopoly Deal Card Game.




Letters to me, When I Grow up: Write Now, Read Later, Treasure Forever: I am always partial to anything that promotes writing and this looks and sounds wonderful. This one is definitely making its way home soon for my kids to use.

And if you have a girl that could use some hair ties, these No Crease Hair Ties 20 Pack by Kenz Laurenz are wonderful. They are bright, colorful, and ouchless. I can vouch for them having used them myself (and my little girl loves them too).


Crazy Aaron Thinking Putty Clear Glass
This is one item my DD has been asking forever now, so maybe this year? Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty is sure to be a super hit in any stocking, and this one featured here is clear glass.



Hope you found something useful in this list here and end up buying something:)

I will be back with more gift lists for kids and adults; and a whole lot of DIYs too that you will enjoy making, and giving. You can subscribe to my blog so I can keep you updated on all this and more (on the right sidebar)

And for part one of my #holidaygiftlist, click here.

– always wishing you the best

Lady In Read…..

(note: this post contains affiliate links)

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Ode to Rain

By November 10, 2017 Art, Memes, Writing

rose buds rain

 Rose buds, puddles and rainbows galore,

Crystals on webs,hot chocolate and smores,

That wonderful smell of the earth all around,

Rain-boots splashing to joyous sounds,

Droplets that feel so refreshing on you,

Makes one feel singing in the rain is the right thing to do!!

 – Vidya (LadyInRead)

 Today, Frank is having us compose odes over at dVerse and ABC Wednesday‘s Round 21 is currently exploring the letter R





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A Holiday Gift Guide for Kids of all Ages – Part One

By November 7, 2017 Art, Books, Everything Else, Reviews

This is the first of the gift-list posts I promised a couple of days ago. Very soon, before you know it, it will be Christmas and here are some gifts that will be sure to bring a smile on the faces of those who receive it. These are books and activity kits all in one and sure to keep your kids occupied with wonderful results to top it off. These books are aimed for kids ages 8+ and I know I have enjoyed them as well (and younger ones too, with some supervision).

Klutz Make Clay Charms Craft Kit – This book is totally ‘charming’, literally too! I bought many copies of the book as gifts before I finally got one for my DD. She was almost convinced I will not get it for her each time a copy arrived by mail in the now familiar shipping box at our home. So when I did finally buy it for her, it took some effort and an additional boKLUTZ Clay Charms Holiday Gift Guideok of charms (which was incidentally a gift once again for a favorite friend) to ensure that she did finally have her own copy of the book. It took her all of 20 minutes to make a half a dozen charms (some pictured below while a couple others were gifted to her little cousins as they worked on them together with my little one leading them both).
With easy to follow instructions for adorable charms, this book is sure to be a hit with all little crafters!!Clay Charms that look yummy enough to eat

And that is not all, the Glitter Clay Charms is also much loved (yet to get for my DD but gifted many times over already) as is the Make your Mini Erasers book which is something I have been thinking about and not yet tried myself or gifted yet (maybe this Christmas?).


Considering we love Legos in our home and my 14 yo has made a couple of stop motion movies with Legos before, the KLUTZ LEGO Make Your Own Movie Kit  is a strong contender for our next KLUTZ buy as well along with the Lego Chain Reactions Craft Kit and the Lego Crazy Action Contraptions Kit. The Crazy Action Contraptions Kit has been gifted and loved as well by friends and I can vouch for it.

KLUTZ LEGO Make Your Own Movie Holiday Gift GuideKLUTZ LEGO Crazy Action Contraptions Holiday Gift Guide

And for fun at any time, face painting is always an option. This book was a gift for my little girl a few years ago and has seen a lot oKLUTZ Face Painting Holiday Gift Guidef use. The instructions for the different designs are clear and easy to follow and my DD was a face-painter artiste while the paints lasted (now, we need to get more paints!)

Note: While this is not a sponsored post at all as I have personally bought (as mentioned many times over too) and used many of these items or heard from those I have gifted the items too, this post contains affiliate links.

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Emerging Patterns

By October 29, 2017 Art

Tie dye

 All rolled up and waiting..

All tied up for colors

Ooh, here comes the first squish of color, bright pink it is…!

Coloring Tie Dye

Working at it, more colors to add…

All ready with all my favorite colors.. do you love the patterns?

Beautiful bright tie dye shirt

For PhotoSunday and for UBC

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The Why Post

By October 28, 2017 Art, Everything Else, Food, Learning, Memes, Reviews, Travel, Writing

My previous(still actively current as well) blog

I started blogging years ago actually and as part of setting up this new blog earlier this month, I even imported content from there (excluding a couple more recent posts).. So you might be asking, why a why I am blogging post? This is more of a reinventing myself as a blogger post – of moving from a free blog to my own space on the world wide web. If then, why import all content from my previous blog? Because that is a part of me as well, and as part of reinventing, I also plan to refresh and redo some of my posts from earlier.

Writing Fuels me

Writing has been a treasured part of my life forever now (well, since I learned to write anyways, and before that, I made up stories to tell my little brother), and blogging is an extension of that.  As a child, I wrote poems, stories, and participated in writing challenges whenever I could. Everything I wrote, no matter what it was, gave me a sense of accomplishment that it energized me, made me happier, made me ‘me’, and that eventually led to a better me, which meant I was able to also help others (tutoring classmates the previous night before finals and all through the year was one of my first such experiences; mom would worry that I would not be able to focus on what I needed to study for, but teaching and sharing my knowledge made me better at it so it was all gooood!) (By the way, I also experience this same energy-up when I work on art or end up taking a really good photograph or somehow manage to have cooked up something yummy that is also healthy)

What was I blogging about?

My initial blog started out as my spot for my R&R – this could easily mean the traditional ‘rest and recreation’ or my little twist on the traditional ‘Recreation and Relaxation’ or my very own ‘Raving and Ranting’.  In the beginning (and even today), I read many blogs about blogging – and many of them had a central message – “pick a niche”. That led me to thinking – what is my specialty? I realized I am more of a Jack of Many Trades (with some level of mastery in a few) and it would be me being me, if I wrote about all of those passions and interests I have. So I have been writing about reading, travel, participating in memes, sharing recipes, tips, my poetry, and photographs, life’s magical moments, parenting and its many facets, reviews of books and products, and more.

And now 

All those varied things that I (plan to) write about inspired me to add the tagline for my blog – this is not a niche-less blog, but a blog(ful) of niches!!  I am still working on the theme, the logo, updating my older posts so they fall in place with my categories, and some more branding to make it more like home, a cozy place for readers to drop by and explore.

Today, I hope to keep doing all that and also include more posts where I can let my readers relax a bit, learn some more, and leave with a smile on their faces, facts in their brains, a spring in their step, and a desire to return (of course)!!…

So here is my question to my readers (old and new) –

what energized you today? Or made you smile? Do let me know in the comments!!


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Quadrille Monday

By October 24, 2017 Art, Writing
The day that dawned
When I creaked my way
It whispered
‘Put a spring in your step
Rise above your fear
Grin and face it,
Dance, melt away those pounds
Take a journey on the greens
 The creak will just be an echo then.’
For today’s Quadrille #43, I tried to use some of the words from this series and this is something I really need to work on – poetry writing, and exercise!! 🙂
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Rainbows and Schedules

By January 24, 2016 Art, Memes
For 6WS,
here are my 6 this week –
‘about time I created a schedule’ 
I am working on my goals made Jan 1st (changing it to goals rather than resolutions) but to have more success, I realize I need a schedule pronto so that is my short-term goal for this weekend. There are many more things I need to work on – specifically for the blog – adding a toolbar or sidebar that will help (reviews, recipes, memes, etc), adding labels to post that will result in returns when I add the toolbar, working on having more (quality) posts which means having a schedule created for the same.

For Saturday Snapshot at
West Retro Mommy Reads,  here is a photo I
took this week- today, actually, as rainbows appeared over and over again through the day..

Rainbows Nature's Art


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