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13 Stocking Stuffers

13 Stocking Stuffers

Reviewed by:  Nicole

Note:  All products in this post were submitted to Make Life Special for review by the respective company, or its affiliates.  No other compensation was received.  The reviews in this post are honest and my own.

Since it is Friday the 13th, in the year 2013, and since I am feeling the crunch to round out my stockings, I thought I would share with you my favorite stocking stuffer ideas for this holiday season.  In no particular order, here are some of my favorites:

Andru Charger Opened1) The Andru Charger –  I have a lot of device chargers.  I did not have a single one that brought a smile to my face until I met this little guy!  I’m absolutely in love with him.  He sits on my desk and waves at me.  If I get in a serious mood, I can change his arms to both be down.  If I get upset or stressed out, I can position both his arms above his head.  Suddenly I am not the only one freaking out and it all seems better.  When he is being used, his eyes are blue when charging and white while on standby.  It’s nice to be able to know when my Kindle is charged without having to open it.  When not in use, I store the cord in my desk and Andru sits on my desk.  I think he’s too cute to go in a drawer, and I think your loved one will agree!  Priced at $25, you can buy it at GEN!


Whisky Stones2) Soapstone Savor Stones – My husband is a fan of whisky and other fine liquors.  He has been wanting a set of soapstone “ice cubes” for a long time.  These lived up to the anticipation!  Once placed in the freezer, they got cold very quickly and were quite effective at chilling down a glass of bourbon or scotch.  But, unlike actual ice, these stones do not water down the liquor.  Not to mention the fact that they look really nice in a Glencairn glass.  You could easily combo these with a set of glasses, an ice bucket with tongs, and a nice liquor.  Or, you could easily give these as a stocking stuffer.  These Soapstone Savor Stones, MRSP $20,  can be bought at CorkPops.com.



Sock Balls3) Ball Socks –  I’m a fan of cute gifts.  I’m also a fan of socks.  These fit both bills.  They are cute enough to easily be a nice stocking stuffer for the teen or funky sock lover in your household.  They are also practical.  I’ve been wearing mine at my desk, next to a draft sunroom door, and have been quite happy with how warm they have kept my feet.   Priced at $12, you can order yours at 25ToGo .





Stress Rocks4) Stress Rocks –  Life is full of stress.  We go thru the day to day activities of our lives and encounter stress.  Most of us bring stress back into our home.  Too Many Rocks in your Pocket was designed to help make us more aware of the stress we face on a daily basis and as a vehicle to help end the day by relieving those stresses for the night. Stress Rocks are available in General, Business, and Student.  When one of the stresses from your bag occurs select the appropriate rock, put a rock in your pocket (purse, backpack or in a spot that makes the weight noticeable). At the end of the day “empty the rocks out”, this is a step in wiping the slate clean of the variety of issues that have taken up a stressful space in your life.  I’ve found them helpful in my life.  Having to physically put a rock in my purse makes me very aware of my mental state.  And, as I empty them from my purse, it gives me an opportunity to deal with the stress and resolve it as best I can before I go to bed.  I think these would also be excellent as a talking point at the dinner table with the family.  Priced at $29.95 per set, you can purchase Stress Rocks at Too Many Rocks in My Pocket.


Organsi Air Opened5) Oransi Fridge Air Purifier –  Admit it, you’ve had a stinky fridge before.  Or, you know someone who has.  I’ve tried to keep baking soda in mine, but I always forget to change it out.  Or, my toddler finds it and I wind up with baking soda all over the floor.  He really likes to dump things.  The Oransi Fridge Air Purifier runs on batteries (it even flashes at you to remind you to change them) and is quiet.  Specifically, the Oransi Fridge Air Purifier is silent.  No hum, no whir, no noise to spark the curiosity of my toddler.  That’s huge for me.  And, it works great!  I’ve had a wide variety of foods in my fridge since I started testing this item.  Thanksgiving leftovers, pies, gravy, various raw meats (one I forgot about and… uh, found later) have all been in my fridge and none have stunk up it up.  I might have found that pound of raw beef sooner had this not worked so well!  I recommend this for anyone who has a fridge and cooks.  I also think this would be great for college students away from home.  I remember my fridge from that time of my life….    For $29, the Oransi Fridge Air Purifier can be purchased at Oransi.




Snug6) Thinkhat Snug’s —  I’m one to have many pots cooking at one time.  I like to cook in bulk and I like to make a variety of foods.  My spoon rest isn’t big enough.  And, depending on the day, it might already be dirty from another dish I made.  The idea that I could rest my spoon on my pot is genius.  Snug’s prevent your plastic spatula from melting, the wooden one from scorching, and keep the metal utensils cool.  I also like that they can be used to keep a lid propped up.  They come in two sizes.  The small ones fit my wooden spoons and the larger ones fit my plastic and metal utensils.  I think they make awesome stocking stuffers and hope my husband gets me a few more!  Price varies by quantity.  You can purchase them directly from Thinkhat  or shop at  Amazon.


Spritz  Sprays7)  Spritz Blitz –  As a mom on the go, I’ve encountered a lot of… ick.  Pacifiers dropped on grocery store floors, fruit that I have no idea if it has been washed, door handles and shopping carts in flu season, sitting next to the “sick guy” on the metro.  Been there.  Done that.  Since I’ve discovered Spritz Blitz, I have found myself worrying less and being prepared more.  My son dropped a bottle at the grocery store, the mouth piece touched the floor, and I had a Spritz Blitz in my purse to easily clean it without a trip to the bathroom.  Available in many varieties (Binky, Hand, Yoga, Fruit, Travel, and Sports), there is at least one for everyone.  I like that they are all natural, safe if swallowed, alcohol free, have no added sugar, are non-toxic and BPA free.  Priced at $6 for one with discounts available for pairs or trios, you can purchase yours at SpritzBlitz.


Beauty Bursts8) Beauty Bursts by NeoCell – Most women that I know are always looking for ways to maintain their youthful appearance.  The older I have gotten, the more I find myself in this category.  My list of daily supplements has increased from the occasional general vitamin to a pill box that I reload every week.  NeoCell has created a fantastic product.  Available in Chocolate Mint and Fruit Punch , Beauty Burts deliver high absorption beauty nutrients in gourmet soft chews (they recommend you take 2 per day).  Collagen Type 1 & 3 is the body’s beauty protein & strengthens skin, hair & nails.  Hyaluronic Acid is known as “Nature’s Moisturizer” & hydrates the skin.  Vitamin C is essential to boosting collagen in the skin.  Together, these three beauty nutrients work together in Beauty Burts to build beautiful skin from the inside out.  Available at GNC, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Vitamin Shoppe and many other Retailers.   They are also available for purchase thru Amazon.


Cup Pilot in Action9) Cup Pilot –  I wish I had this a few months ago.  Traveling is tough and I never seem to have enough hands.  Once I make it thru airport security, I always grab a coffee.  But, with a toddler, a carryon, a personal item, a stroller and the car seat that I gate check…. Well, I tend to run out of hands quickly.  I love that the Cup Pilot can attach onto one of my bags so I can enjoy my coffee while making sure my son doesn’t wander too far. The Cup Pilot can also be used on board the plane.  No longer do you have  to keep the tray table down to keep your drink out of your hands.. the Cup Pilot will attach to the pocket of the seat in front of you.  I have also used this in my car.  It hangs nicely from my air vent and allows me to charge my phone in my cup holder without fear of spilling a beverage on it.  And, it folds flat and has its own storage bag.  When I am done using it, I can slip it in my purse.  Priced at $19.95, you can purchase this hand saver at Cup Pilot.





smart Scissors10) Smart Scissors – I’ve been looking for a new pair of work scissors.  A pair of scissors that will take anything I throw at it.  I was tired of trying to hack into tough plastic containers and having to use steak knives to do a job better suited for scissors.  The Smart Scissors were a great solution for my household.  I cut a brilo pad in half with zero effort.  I’ve opened countless toys and boxes without stress…. or blood (I’m klutzy with knives).  I feel as if these scissors need an infomercial…I haven’t seen that on TV, but I did find this YouTube Video.   And, you can use them for much more than cutting… like, crushing garlic, opening bottles, opening nuts, stripping wire, etc.  I really like multi-purpose items!  This is the ideal gift for the home chef, crafter, or handyman on any shopping list this season.  They MSRP for $24 at www.AnySharp.com


Green & Lean11) Pure Health Nature’s Green & Lean:  Pure Health Nature’s Green & Lean tea delivers a powerful double whammy – combininggreen tea leaves, known across Asia for their wealth of antioxidants, with pure, raw Green Coffee Bean containing Chlorogenic Acids. This delicious new tea packs thousands of years of ancient Eastern herbal tradition with an amazing new superfood discovery into one convenient tea bag. In addition, Pure Health has added a lovely blend of warming spices, including anise, ginger and cinnamon, to create a robust, rich flavored tea. Naturally low in caffeine and sweetened with a hint of Stevia, Nature’s Green & Lean can be enjoyed anytime of the year – hot or iced. For healthy weight management and natural energy throughout the day, this new tea is an excellent choice. For best results, Nature’s Green & Lean should be enjoyed about 30 minutes before each meal.  For $9.99 you can purchase thru Pure Health.   





Spin n Store12) Spin ‘N Store – I love a good salad.  I HATE using my salad spinner.  One, it’s bulky to store and I don’t have a lot of storage space. And, two, mine is not a high quality salad spinner and I have to crank it, instead of pushing a button, which makes it difficult to hold onto.  When I used the Spin ‘N Store, I was impressed by its simplicity.  Rinse lettuce, put wet lettuce in Spin ‘N Store, spin, drain, store.  I was worried that draining the bag would be an ordeal.  But, you just tip the bag and let the water run out through the built in drain.  Simple.  I recommend this item as a gift for anyone who is short on storage space.  I think college students, city apartment dwellers, and people who already have a million and 12 small appliances would benefit from the Spin ‘N Store.  Oh, and after you are done with your lettuce, you can rinse out the bag and reuse the Spin ‘N Store.  At a MSRP $12.95 for 12 reusable bags, you can purchase directly from Argee Corp.  Or, you can purchase thru Amazon.




Fireplace DVD13) Straight from the Hearth Fireplace DVD — Straight from the Hearth is a 60 minute video of a beautiful fire in a fireplace. It sets your screen ablaze with dancing flames and crackling logs.  I have a non functioning fireplace.  It has candles in it, but it doesn’t give the same vibe as a nice lit fire… with logs and the snap, crackle, pop that comes with them.  I’ve enjoyed this DVD far more than I thought I would.  It’s perfect for snuggling on the sofa with a cup of tea or cocoa.  For the person who has everything…except a fireplace… I recommend this DVD for the holiday.  Selling for $5.95, it can be purchased at McIncShop.com

Cookina: Cooking sheet for BBQ & Oven!






Cookina:  Cooking Sheets for BBQ, Oven & Microwave!

Cookina Products 

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Kim Lybrand PR graciously supplied me with samples of Cookina barbeque, Cookina cuisine, and Cookina gard for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



Cooking creates a lot of messes.  Dirty baking sheets, spills in your oven, charred bits stuck to your grill…  but, does it have to?  Evidently not!


Cookina products make bbq cooking and baking a lot easier!  Since it is -7 Fahrenheit, my grilling days are few right now.  But, I am looking forward to the first warm day when I can fire up my grill and use my Cookina.  They are safe up to 500 degrees and can be placed directly on your grill.  No more stuck meat on your grates or veggies falling into the flame!  Best part?  The Cookina is thin enough that you still get grill lines!


For now, I am using my Cookina indoors.  I’ve used the BBQ sheet, which was easily trimmed to fit my half sheet baking pan, for buttered carrots.  These normally create a big mess.  Not this time!  Clean up was super easy.  Warm water + Soap + Soft rag = one clean Cookina.  All I had to do was roll it up and store it inside it’s storage ring.

  Cookina Aluminum Foil   Cookina Used Aluminum Foil

            I also tested the Cookina Cuisine sheet.  Again, it was super easy to trim to my baking sheet.   I decided that gooey cinnamon rolls would be a good test.  And, after I lifted the rolls from the Cookina, there was almost no residue left to clean!  I’m loving the addition of Cookina products in my kitchen.  And, my husband loves that I can spend less time cleaning up after dinner!
Cookina ParchmentCookina Used Parchment

Who would like this gift? 

I think the barbeque sheets would be an excellent stocking stuffer for the avid griller in your life.  The cuisine sheets would be a great stocking stuffer for anyone who enjoys baking or who cooks a lot in their oven.  The Cookina Gard oven proctectors would be ideal for novice cooks (who are likely to spill), home chefs (boil overs are not fun to clean), and the elderly who might not be able to clean their oven easily.


Or, you could pair a few Cookina sheets with other baking and/or grilling accessories as a combo gift for your friends and family!

 Where to Buy 

Cookina can be purchased at Walmart,  Costco and more Locations.

You can also purchase Cookina at Amazon!

Puritan’s Pride: Healthy Foods

Puritan’s Pride: Healthy Choices for Healthy People

 Puritans Pride HoneyPuritans Pride SpicesPuritans Pride Almonds

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Puritan’s Pride graciously supplied me with samples of almond flour, honey, cinnamon, roasted almonds, and vanilla extract for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  12+




I am always on the hunt for quality ingredients to use in my kitchen.  I have dropped a pretty penny on oils, spices, and other quality ingredients I can’t find at my local grocery store.  I am also blessed to be friends with some fabulous ladies and gents who have diet restrictions.  Some have celiac, some follow the Paleo diet, some are lactose intolerant, and some are just picky.  The nearest Whole Foods and Trader Joes are each about an hour and a half away from my home, so I tend to stock up.

I can now stop that habit.  Firstly, Puritan’s Pride has products that are excellent.  The almond flour I sampled held up beautifully in baked goods.  The cinnamon was just as good as my really expensive cinnamon that I bought from an online distributor — and Puritan’s Pride’s prices won’t break the bank!  The roasted almonds were a wonderful snack.  And, their honey and vanilla were so good I was looking for excuses to use them!

           Puritans Pride Cinnamon Rolls

I made a batch of paleo cinnamon rolls with my sample goodies.  They turned out amazingly well!  I can’t wait to share them with my friends.  I used The Urban Poser’s Recipe.    Yummy!

Who would like this gift?

I recommend Puritan’s Pride Healthy Foods as a stocking stuffer for the healthy food lover in your life.  Their products would also go great in a gift basket for your favorite athlete, healthy food lover, or friend/family member who has diet restrictions.


Where to Buy

Prices vary depending on item and quantity.   You can peruse their entire catalog online at Puritan’s Pride Healthy Foods   .

Candles We Love for the Holidays Part 3

   Bridgewater Candle Company

 Bridgewater Candles Lit

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Bridgewater Candle Company graciously supplied me with one 18 ounce Large Jar Remember When, one Inspirations for Life Joy Tall Candle, and one Inspirantions for Life Peace Tall Candle for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  12+



I buy a lot of candles and I love the idea that each purchase could help feed an orphaned child for a day.  At Bridgewater Candle Company, that happens every time someone purchases a jar candle.  Their motto is “Light a candle.  Feed a child.”  My 18 ounce Large Jar Remember When candle even came with a lovely tag to display.  I highly recommend you check out their Mission and Progress.

Bridgewater Candles Feed Children

I have sampled each candle I received and have loved each scent.  The Remember When candle takes me back to the smell of my grandmother’s home at Christmas.  Happy memories abound when I sit back and just smell the candle.  It’s a fabulous scent full of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  The Peace candle has layers of floral, sandalwood and vanilla.  Last, but certainly not least, the Joy candle can help you ring in the holidays with the scent of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Bridgewater Candles

As for festiveness, the Inspirations for Life candles are decked out in holiday images.  Not only do they smell great, they function as holiday décor!  Win.  Win.


If you are looking to gift a beautiful candle that can be used year round, their jar candles are the way to go.  They have a beautiful lid and will easily fit with any décor.


Who would like this gift?

The Inspirations for Life Tall candles would be an amazing stocking stuffer. These and the Large Jar Candles would also make great gifts for co-workers, teachers, college students, friends and family.


Where to Buy

For $22 you can purchase an 18 ounce Large Jar candle or  an Inspirations for Life Tall Jar Candle.  You can peruse their entire catalog online at Bridgewater Candle Company.

Candles We Love for the Holiday Part 2: Dayna Decker’s Estancia Candles

Candles We Love for the Holidays:

Estancia Candles by Dayna Decker

 Dayna Decker Estancia Candle Boxes

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Laforce + Stevens graciously supplied me with an Estancia Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Candle Set by Dayna Decker for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



Being a lover of candles, I thought I had gone to candle heaven when these lovely candles arrived on my door step.  I can’t tell you how many times I have given them a little sniff as I pass the buffet in my kitchen.  The Estancia Chardonnay candle features aromas of lemon zest, Anjou pear, tropical pineapple and creamy vanilla. The Estancia Pinot Noir candle, on the other hand, features aromas of warm raspberry, bright cherry, cassia bark, clove bud, and vanilla wood.  Both will delight your senses.

Dayna Decker Estancia Candles


The wicks in these candles are top notch.  They call it their EcoWood™ wick and it allows for a soft and serene flame which instantly infuses the space with a delicate fragrance.  And, the candles are crafted from hand-blown glass in rich hues and have a soy wax formulation that burns soft and clean.  Whoever receives these candles this holiday season will know they are loved.


I have enjoyed lighting the white or red candle to accompany the white or red wine I am serving at dinner.  I have also enjoyed having one of them lit while I clean the kitchen or prepare a meal for my family.  I have a dinner party coming up soon and I can guarantee you that one of these will be on the table.  I’m showing these off!


Who would like this gift?

I would recommend this as a fabulous stocking stuffer for your sweetheart, an excellent host/hostess gift at your next holiday party, or a lovely token of your affection for your friends and family.


Where to Buy

For $44  each or $80 for the pair, you can purchase your own Estancia Candles at Dayna Decker.   http://daynadecker.com/?s=estancia&post_type=product




Candles We Love for the Holiday: Lumnique



     Luminique Opened

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Lumnique graciously supplied me with one customized Deluxe Candle Set for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



Full confession:  My husband and I LOVE candles.  We have them in almost every room in our house.  We have back up candles stored in closets, curios and the buffet.  In the event of a natural disaster, we are covered.  As long as we can find matches or a lighter, that is.


Luminique Candle

When Lumniqe offered to send us a customized candle for review, I jumped at the chance.  I had so much fun customizing my own candle!  Feeling the Christmas spirit, I chose that as my intention,  Fire red as my color, and Frankincense and Myrrh as my scent.  When it arrived, I was amazed at how beautiful the presentation is with this set.  The level of detail that went into their box is amazing.  Down to the box for the matches, this is a gift that makes the recipient feel special.

Luminique Information Card

I have loved having this candle on my dining room table these past few weeks.  The rich color envelopes the room when the lights are dim.  The scent is not over powering, but gently reminds you that it is there making your home a bit nicer.  I’ve found myself stopping my nightly activities to just sit, watch the candle, and sip a cup of herbal tea.  It’s been a true delight to use this gorgeous candle.

Luminique Glow

Who would like this gift?


I would recommend this as a gift for anyone you want to feel special and loved this holiday season.


Where to Buy


For $30 ($25 if you just want the candle) you can purchase your own Deluxe Gift Set at Lumnique.




The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices

The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies

By: Cherie Calbom, MS, CN

 Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  13+



A few years ago I tried juicing.  I loved it!  But, my juicer didn’t make it through one of our many moves and I let my new juicer linger in my Amazon Wish List for far too long.  Reading thru The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices & Green Smoothies was a great reminder to purchase my new juicer and re-enter the world of juicing.  As a novice juicer, this book discussed all the things I needed to know; how juicing is beneficial, the nutritional perks to juicing, how to store homemade juice, how much homemade juice costs (less than a latte), and pages upon pages of recipes are all contained in this fantastic book.

Green Pina Colada

I sampled Calbom’s Green Pina Colada Smoothie.    I was skeptical that it would taste anything like a Pina Colada.  Yes, it contained coconut, banana and pineapple.  But, it also contained spinach.  I drank spinach! And, it was delicious!  Had someone just rattled off the list of ingredients, I doubt this recipe would have worked.  Calbom is very precise in how much of each ingredient to use (this recipe, for instance, called for 6 ice cubes) and her little tidbits of information placed throughout the book really make it one to read and not just skim thru.


Who would like this gift?


This is a great book for the health conscious, the friend or family member who owns a juicer, that friend who always talks about needing to remove toxins from their bodies, or someone looking to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables.  For those looking to give a bigger gift, I would recommend this book be given with a new juicer.


Where to Buy


For $13.60 you can purchase this cookbook at Amazon.


For More Information

You can visit The Juice Lady’s Website.


Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  News & Experts graciously supplied me with a copy of The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices & Green Smoothies  for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

What Are You Doing for Lunch?

What Are You Doing for Lunch?

Not Just a Cookbook

A Friendly Guide to Brown Bagging as a Better Way to Lunch

By: Mona Meighan, Ed.D.

What Are You Doing fo Lunch 

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



I wish I had this cookbook a few years ago when I was working an 8-4 at a large insurance agency.  I cannot tell you how many salads I ate during my tenure there.  Or, how many times my lunch plans (salad) did not sound appealing and I went out for lunch.


What Are You Doing for Lunch? addresses many aspects of brown bagging it:  Cost, Health, and Convenience.  Meighan gives you 8 steps to planning a week of lunches.  If you aren’t quite ready to dive into planning your menu yet, this book also gives you 20 days of Lunches for you to try.


The best part is that no recipe in What Are You Doing for Lunch? takes longer than 20 minutes to prepare.  And, for the budget conscious, no recipe costs more than $5 per serving – many cost a dollar per serving!


I chose to try out What Are You Doing for Lunch? by cooking the Homemade Meatballs.  I was skeptical.  The prep was easy.  The ingredients simple.  And, my husband is picky.  I decided to kick it up a notch and toss the meatballs in a homemade marinara.

Lunch Meatballs Cooking

Then, I decided to recreate one of my favorite dining out lunches.  I turned them into a meatball sandwich with provolone cheese and a side of potato chips.

Lunch Meatball Sandwich

It was delicious.  We had enough meatballs for 2 adults and 1 child.  My son decided to eat his without the bun.

Lunch Meatballs for Kids

And, there were enough leftovers to feed 2 more adults and 1 child.  Basically, it was two lunches for a family of 3.  This mama was very happy.


Who would like this gift?


I think this cookbook would be great for the new college graduate, the cubicle worker, office temp, budget conscious executive, or homemakers who need some new ideas for ways to jazz up their lunches.


Where to Buy

For $13.46  you can purchase this cookbook at Amazon.


For More Information

You can visit Cherie Kimmons’ Website .


Reviewed by: Nicole

 Note:  News & Experts graciously supplied me with a copy of What Are You Doing for Lunch?  for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

Potluck Survival Guide Review

Potluck Survival Guide: Care & Feeding of the Athletic Supporter

By: Cherie Kimmons

Potluck Survival Guide 

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



I don’t have a child in sports, yet.  With my son’s love of kicking and throwing balls, I am sure that is just around the corner.  I am, however, a priest’s wife.  I have lovingly endured 3 years of seminary and a few years assisting him in his ministry.  I have endured and/or loved many potlucks.  If every potluck organizer had this book at their disposal, I might have loved a few more than I endured!

This book would be a fabulous gift for any parent, grandparent or involved community member.  Potluck Survival Guide is just that…. A guide.  Kimmons walks you through how to set a menu, how to keep things kid-friendly, how to feed athletes (pre-game and post-game), how to set up a buffet, and how to calculate how much food you will need.  As if that weren’t enough, there are enough recipes in here to give a lot of variety to your potluck dishes.  I usually bring a smashed garlic potato dish to a potluck.  As much as I love that dish, I am so excited by this cookbook that I am giving it a rest for the foreseeable future!

Potluck Survival Guide would not be worth much if the recipes didn’t hold up to the test.  I am thrilled to say that the recipes are top-notch.  I recently had company stay at our home.  It was a few friends from seminary.  I knew we would stay up late talking and I wanted a nice hearty dish on the table for breakfast.  I also didn’t want to wake up ridiculously early to cook.  Kimmons’ Overnight Breakfast Casserole was just what I was looking for.  I prepped it the night before (it took 10 minutes) and baked it upon waking.  45 minutes later breakfast was served.  My friends and my husband were raving about this dish!

Sausage and Egg Casserole Beauty

Where to Buy

For $23.70  you can purchase this delightful book at Amazon.


For More Information

You can visit Cherie Kimmons’ Website .


Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Cherie Kimmons graciously supplied me with a copy of Potluck Survival Guide: Care& Feeding of the Athletic Supporter for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide

Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Meals
By Nisa Burns

Kitchenability 101

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:  10+


Kitchenability 101 by Nisa Burns is a fantastic cookbook geared towards college students. But, I think it would be well received by any child who likes to cook or the novice chef looking for a great introductory book.

What’s so great about the cookbook? For starters, ever single recipe has a full color photograph which makes it excellent for someone starting out in the kitchen. It also gives an excellent tutorial that walks the reader thru a basic kitchen, the appliances, the techniques needed to prepare a meal, cooking terminology, staple items to keep on hand, and an overview of meal planning. I wish this cookbook had been around when I left home for the first time. Not kidding. I had way too many meals of canned soup and pizza in my early years.

I had a hard time selecting which recipe I wanted to prepare from Kitchenability 101. The Chocolate-Drenched Marshmallow Brownies called my name early on (I started reading in the Party! section. Please, don’t judge). Then I found the Chili Burritos and remembered all the meals I ate out of a food cart in college. I almost picked the Strawberry Crepes because they use Nutella and I LOVE Nutella. But, 30 minutes into my love obsession with this cookbook and its layout, I settled on Gnochi with Pesto. It’s simple. It’s elegant. And, Nisa Burns didn’t wimp out and tell you to grab a jar of your favorite pesto. It has a recipe for homemade pesto. Yum!

Pesto Gnochi


For those who think a college student couldn’t afford this type of cuisine, the whole recipe cost me less than $25 and I had enough pesto for a whole package of gnocchi, a whole package of tortellini and I still have enough pesto for another box or two of pasta or gnocchi.  I consider this very economical since pesto keeps well in the fridge and freezer!  

Where to Buy

For $14.46 you can purchase this delightful book at Amazon.

For More Information

Please visit Nisa Burns’ Website.

Reviewed by: Nicole

Note: PR by the Book graciously supplied me with a copy of Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Food for review. No other compensation was received. The review in this post is honest and my own.

Make Life Special
2 Cypress Rd Litchfield, IL 62056 US
Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: http://www.makelifespecial.com