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If you’re looking for a unique gift this year, this is one that you can be certain your recipient won’t receive doubles of. And even if they do, that means more vanilla extract.
When I found out how easy it is to actually make homemade vanilla extract, I’ll never buy vanilla extract again. In this way you can control the type of vanilla extract, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and your recipient will never run out of vanilla extract.
I’ve personally given vanilla extract kits to 2 different people so far and they both loved it. Each vanilla extract kit from Native Vanilla comes with a bottle, vanilla beans, label, and recipes/instructions. It comes in a nice wooden crate that really dresses up the gift too. The one thing I added to this gift was to add a bottle of cheap vodka so the recipient can get their vanilla extract started right away. For your recipients that may want to avoid the alcohol in the extract you could offer food grade vegetable glycerine instead .
Once it’s made, I leave the vanilla beans in the jar. Then I can just top off my extract when needed with more vodka or food grade vegetable glycerine and in that way, vanilla forever. It’s real vanilla, not imitation.
I love this gift idea because it’s easy to do, useful, consumable, and I find people love learning that they can make their own vanilla.
Watch for sales too. It’s on sale 25% off until 11/14/22. But they’ve been doing sales most of this month. Also, if you’re new to Native Vanilla you can sign up for their email to get 10% off. Watch for Black Friday deals too!
Have you ever tried making your own vanilla extract? Would you consider it? If someone gifted you a Native Vanilla extract kit, would you like it?
Follow Luv Saving Money on all my social media channels to get more budget friendly gift ideas.
**This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from sales made through my links**
I can’t believe it’s that time of year again can you?
I’ve tried so many things this year and still have a few things planned. I’ve taken up a new hobby, took some chances on a few things this year, got COVID (yuck), oh and just tonight we found a little kitten in our yard. Of course it was at like 11 pm at night and my husband was at work and the kids were asleep. The kitten is safe for now and visually seems ok but I’ll be calling our vet tomorrow.
We took our first family vacation that included extended family. I started trying to learn a little bit about herbs. I’m planning to start an herb garden next year.
With everything happening this year I’ve focused more on my social media channels than the blog. I almost missed this hop and I’ve done this one every years for…I think…at least the last 5 years.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been busy or had a crazy year. So I thought why not keep this giveaway simple and something that can be used for whatever the winner needs it for.
Here it is November again. I’m in the midst of trying to plan my Thanksgiving dinner as many people are. We usually have a fair amount of people over for Thanksgiving. They usually come in waves. For that reason, I set my Thanksgiving dinner up buffet style and people can just eat where they land, so to speak. Some guests have already been somewhere else earlier in the day so they may only have dessert or an appetizer. While for others, this is the main stop in my family.
I’m someone who would rather have too much than not enough when it comes to holiday meals. Plus if there’s leftovers that can be a night off of cooking, or some delicious Thanksgiving leftover recipes.
Are you looking for inspiration for a new Thanksgiving leftover recipe? About 10 years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Scott Schmucker at a social media event at Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He shared a Thanksgiving leftover recipe with us that I still use to this day. It’s one of my family’s favorites.
Monte Cristo Sandwich
by Chef Schmucker
6 slices of bread
3 oz turkey sliced (can use sandwich turkey if you prefer)
Place 1 slice of turkey, 1 slice of ham, and 1 slice of swiss cheese on a piece of bread. Then top with a 2nd slice of bread
In a bowl, thoroughly mix eggs, milk, and salt
In a saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat, add half the vegetable oil. While holding sandwich together, dip entire sandwich into egg batter making sure to soak both slice of bread. Place dipped sandwich into heated pan/skillet.
Cook until golden brown as you would french toast. Turn sandwich and repeat on other side
Place sandwich on a parchment lined sheet pan/baking sheet and place into preheated oven. Bake 8-10 minutes or until heated to 165 degrees throughout
Once removed from oven, place cooked sandwich onto cutting board and cut into 4 triangles corner to corner.
Lightly dust sandwich with powdered sugar and shingle on a large plate. Garnish with lettuce and cranberry sauce.
You can top sandwich with maple syrup or place in a dipping cup to dip sandwich triangles while eating.
Recipe makes 3 sandwiches
What do you think, would you try it? What is your favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipe?
This post does contain some affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from sales made through my links
Teens can be hard to buy for, especially if they’re not your child. Teenagers are exploring their own styles, like/dislikes, they still want to have fun but don’t want childish things.
As a mom of 3 teenage boys and aunt to a 14 year old niece, here are some fun ideas for teens. Some may appeal to boys more, some may appeal to girls more, and some have more universal appeal.
Shashibo Shape Shifting Box – Price Point = $20-$25
These cubes fascinated me the first first times I saw ads and video on them. I looked up youtube videos on them and I was convinced that I had to get one for each of my kids and my one son’s girlfriend.
The idea of the Shasibo is it’s a puzzle cube. Each with a different theme: Confetti, Moon, Elements, etc. etc. you open up the cube and it immediately starts changing shapes. It comes with a guide to help you create different shapes. The puzzle part is trying to create the shapes and eventually trying to get it back into a cube which doesn’t seem to be an easy feat.
One of the popular things right now is fidget toys. The Shasibo, while a puzzle cube also is being used as a fidget toy. These cubes are just about the same size as a rubics cube. They have been and and out of stock and many retailers with some designs being harder to find than others. The Confetti seems to be a popular one.
Color Fusion Nail Polish Maker – Price Point $25 – $50
This one would be more geared toward the pre-teens. The Make It Real Color Fusion Nail Polish Maker allows you to create over 200 custom shades of nail polish! Download the app for color matching technology and create a color to match that favorite dress!
It comes with everything needed and has enough supplies for up to 120 manicures or pedicures.
Mini Over the Door Basketball Hoop – Price Point $10 – $40
I don’t know any kids that doesn’t love shooting baskets in a mini basketball hoop. I have one and all 4 of my kids ages 8 – 19 play together. They play games like HORSE, 21, and challenging each other to make shots. These hoops fit easily over any door with a provided hook and most, if not all of them, come with a mini basketball. Some even come with a hand pump for the mini basketballs.
I know the price point is pretty wide but that’s because there are so many to choose from depending on your budget and how sturdy of a basketball hoop you’re hoping for. Some even have extra things like LED scoring or glow in the dark features.
SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop – this one is sturdier and is an Amazon choice. It comes with a mini basketball for $29.99. Upgrade to a glow-in-the-dark version for $34.99
Nerf Mini Basketball Hoop – This one is more budget friendly and it is made by Nerf. It also comes with a Nerf mini basketball. At only $8.33 it’s the most budget friendly basketball hoop on the list.
Waterproof mini bluetooth speaker – Price Point = $15 – $50
But my kids/niece/nephew/grandchild already has a bluetooth speaker. Yea so do my kids but, the mini waterproof speakers are great for a few reasons but I highly recommend getting one with a clip rather than a string.
My one son got one when he was around 13 or 14 years old. He would clip it to his backpack to take with him while riding his bike so he could listen to music. He’d take it to the basketball court or volleyball courts when hanging with his friends. He used it in the shower. He took it to the pool. And it’s all good because it’s waterproof, travel-friendly, and reasonably priced.
In fact, my husband liked the one my son had so I got him one for Christmas a few years ago. He likes to use it in the shower or when we go to the beach.
Downfall is the teen your gifting it to would need to have a smartphone to get the most use out of it. It can be used with a laptop, tablet or other bluetooth device but for grab and go purposes, a smartphone is best.
Amazon has a big selection. You can find them priced anywhere from $12 – $75. Some examples I’d consider buying my own kids would be:
I saw this as part of a virtual holiday toy expo a couple months ago. I knew I had to get one for my 12 year old. This is great for any kids who is either: Into video games, loves creating, wants to be a game designer someday, or loves their tech.
Pixicade allows your pre-teen/teen to create their own video game of sorts. You purchase a Pixicade kit. It comes with game templates, quick start guide, 2 QR codes to download the app (added value so you can buy 1 kit for two kids if you want), high quality markers, stickers.
There are two different kits Pixicade which is $19.99. Your pre-teen or teen can create up to 1200 games. Pixicade Plus $29.99 allows them to create up to 2000 games and comes with extra stickers, more game templates, and an extra set of markers.
Interesting story, it was created by a husband and wife team. The wife is an educator, illustrator and art teacher. The husband is a software engineer. They wanted to make it fun and educational. Encourage kids creative thinking and problem solving skills.
The kid you’re gifting it to does need access to a smart phone or tablet though to be able to play.
Pixicade website (They currently have a deal where if you buy one you can get 25% off additionals. If you’re only planning on buying one use code: pixicadeholiday to save 10% on one)
I would also check stores locally. I actually saw some at my local Giant Eagle about a week or so ago.
Honorable Mention – Dribble Up
So I like this idea but there’s two thing holding me back from giving it an all-in recommendation.
DribbleUp has smart soccer balls, smart basketballs, and other smart active devices. I think the basketball and soccer ball are great for kids that are all in on those sports. You use an app, scan your smart ball, and run though dribbling, kicking, traps, and other drills using the app. It helps kids hone in their skills, increase stamina, improve skills, and increase confidence. They can take live or on-demand classes with trainers.
So what is holding me back? Well right now they’re on sale which puts them at $50 for the soccer ball and $60 for the basketball on sale. Not too bad on sale but if they’re not on sale they’re around $99. The second thing holding me back is that the app has a $9.99 monthly fee. I also feel it would be a more personalized gift for the teen that’s all about soccer or basketball depending on which one you choose.
Here’s a DribbleUp Youtube video on the smart basketball to get an idea what it does
This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from some links in this post from sales made through them. Prices in this post are up to date as of the time of this post. Other stores may have certain items but I only included links in which they were in stock at the time of this post.
Did you know that at least 15% of all women want a spa gift certificate for their birthday, or Mother’s Day, or for Christmas? It’s true … and I’m surprised it isn’t more than that! Spa Gift Certificates rank in the Top 10 gifts that women want on a regular basis. For this holiday season, we are going to give you the chance to win a home spa kit from Spa Technologies that will make you feel as though you have spent all day at the spa!
The way I see it, any little treat or pampering I don’t have to buy myself is ok in my book.
Spa Technologies Serenity Bath Kit offers a serene, sensory experience right in the comfort of your own home. It exfoliates, moisturizes, and relaxes with aromatherapeutic essential oils, helping you feel tranquil and soft all over. Restores moisture as you soak after a long day. Smooth your way to luxuriously silky skin, and restore your skin to health with antioxidants for lasting benefits. Take 20% off your order with our discount code LIAHGIFT20.
(1) Winner is Going to Receive the Serenity Bath Kit
Giveaway Details: You must be 18+ to enter the giveaway, and this giveaway is open to the Continental US, including Alaska and Washington, D.C. Only one entrant per household is allowed to enter. In addition to the regular one-time entries, there are daily entries as well worth 100 points each. The more daily entries you complete, the better your chance of winning!
Giveaway Dates: The giveaway begins on November 22, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern and ends on December 13, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.
The winner will be chosen at random from all VERIFIED entries. By entering this giveaway, you authorize us to collect the information on the form below, which may be provided to the event’s sponsor(s).
Giveaway Disclosure: This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media networking site. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email with the subject: Winner Notification of the Serenity Bath Kit Giveaway from firstname.lastname@example.org. You may want to put this email address in your safe sender list as it could go to spam. If a response is not received, another winner will be chosen at random. The prize will be mailed directly from our sponsor. No other participating bloggers are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you complete an entry in the contest (such as following on social media) you must remain following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.
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