Welcome to our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide! Can it possibly be the year is nearing an end and the holidays are right around the corner? It must be so, as we have an amazing holiday season so far. Again this year, Naturally Frugalicious has teamed up with Milk Wasted, previously known as the Slow Road to Insanity, to provide you with a rather wonderful roundup of gift ideas in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. The great brands and talented artisans we have partnered with this year have helped us to create a fabulous holiday gift guide.
Throughout the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing our featured brands, artisans, shops and favorite gift guide items, in addition to a few really awesome giveaways, right in time for the holidays. So be sure to stay tuned.
Gifts for Him • Gifts for Her • Gifts for Teens
Gifts for Kids • Gifts for Toddlers & Babies • Geekery Gifts
Gifts for the Home • Gifts for the Kitchen • Gifts for Wine & Spirits Lovers
Mindful Gifts • Gifts for Pets • Gifts for the Season
As the weather gets cooler and more crisp, I am always looking for unique ways to serve sweet potatoes – even if I am the only one that will really eat them. I am still trying to convince my children they are yummy as they are healthy. But until I do, I eat them alone. And I am cool with that. Should I find myself
gluttonously ravenously hungry, any extras that no one eats are left for me – which I can (and will) eat without any guilt.
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Crunchy Topping
Are you familiar with Nature’s Path? If not, Nature’s Path products include organic cereals, granola and granola bars that my family adores. Complete with ingredients like flax, hemp, chia and ancient grains you know you are eating healthy. Nature’s Path paired one of my favorite foods with one of my favorite granolas to create this lovely Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Crunchy Topping recipe.
Prepare the Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Crunchy Topping with our without the allspice and maple syrup to make a perfect stand alone lunch or wonderful side dish for dinner. I happen to love it both ways and it truly depends on my mood which one I fix for myself.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 193
Fat per serving: 6.5g
When cold weather rolls around, nothing beats a baked sweet potato – warm, nourishing, and wholesomely sweet. Dress it up with fragrant herbs, warming spices, and a splash of maple syrup. Top it off with the satisfying crunch of Pumpkin Flax Granola and you’ve got a winning dish.
- 2 large sweet potatoes (each about 1 lb), halved lengthwise
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp finely chopped sage
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Plus® Granola
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Season sweet potato with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
- Place cut side down on prepared pan.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, heat butter in small skillet set over medium low heat.
- Add shallot, garlic, sage and allspice.
- Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is soft.
- Scoop out flesh from halves into a bowl, leaving about 1/2-inch layer inside skins.
- Set skins aside.
- Mash sweet potatoes with garlic mixture, maple syrup, remaining salt and cayenne pepper, if using.
- Top each evenly with Parmesan cheese and granola.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until warmed through.
Recipe and image ©Nature's Path. Reprinted with permission.
It’s not quite a board game, definitely not a video game, and a whole lot of fun! It plays very quickly and works for any number of players (ages 10+ – can be slightly younger if simple spelling of words is not frustrating).
Show Me the Kwan is a fast-paced, dice rolling, word game. Given the chosen category the players must call out fitting words where either the first, second or last letter correspond to the lettered dice that were rolled. Each dice has an assigned point value. At the end of the 1 minute round, all players must count their points on the dice they collected.
To learn more about Show Me the Kwan, visit Griddly Games online and use the coded FREESHIP for free shipping on Kwan ONLY, or code 10FORME for 10% off their entire order.
As well as natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, some of the world’s most devastating disasters are caused by humans. Throughout history, humankind have inflicted a number of catastrophes that have affected not only people, but have also devastated the environment and put ecosystems at risk. However, while natural calamities may be outside of our control, we can work to safeguard the animal kingdom from man-made disasters. Let’s take a look at some of the main driving forces that lead to self-inflicted disasters.
In 2012, the Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, making it the largest accidental oil spill in the world to date. In the months following the eruption, rescue teams found numerous effects that the oil had had on wildlife, including bird’s feathers coated in oil, mammals that had ingested oil and dying deep sea coral. As well as affecting marine life, the oil spill coated miles of coastal wetland, causing a large amount of suffering for shore-dwelling animals. While we are not likely to see the full extent of the disaster’s impact for many years, scientists are expecting the long-term effects to include stranded and sick sea mammals, unbalanced food chains and decreased wildlife populations. Luckily, there is now an array of specialist equipment to help oil-engineers and clean-up teams keep accidental spills under control. Spill control experts, such as Lube tech, offer an extensive range of products that are designed to prevent the misuse of oil.
The Great Pacific Ocean garbage patch, also known as the Pacific trash vortex, is a collection of plastic bags, chemical sludge and other debris that stretches for hundreds of miles across the North Pacific Ocean. The patch formed over several years as pollution gathered in water currents and collected in the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone. Experts believe that the patch contains approximately 100 million tons of churning debris, with research showing that it has affected an estimated 267 species worldwide. Not only can the plastic entangle marine life, it can also enter into the digestive system of seabirds, fish and other marine mammals and make it much harder for animals to identify their natural food source. As the sun breaks down the plastic, poisonous toxins are also being secreted into the ocean and entering into the food chain. As well as numerous ocean-based clean-up projects that are currently underway to remove the debris, plastic pollution prevention programs have been devised to promote awareness of the dangers of dumping waste into the sea.
The impacts of human-induced climate change are also placing strain on various ecosystems and forcing wildlife to move from their habitats to find climates where they can survive. This habitat change causes complications to arise from species interaction and causes temperature-sensitive species to suffer. Climate change related disasters include storms, floods and droughts, which lead to damaged habitats. The effects of global warming can cause dehydration, starvation, disease and drowning of many individual animals and may push endangered populations into complete extinction. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believe that climate change is likely to be the main contributor to future loss of biodiversity. We can all do our bit towards lowering our carbon footprint, and if you’re serious about your green credentials, there is wealth of information online offering advice on how we can help to combat global warming and the serious threat that it poses to wildlife.
Kottage Kreations offers beautifully handmade, sentimental, rustic, modern and one of a kind artisan jewelry. Designer and owner, Laurie, spends most of her days and some of her nights working in her home studio, located in Turluck, California, where everything she designs is handmade. Laurie loves what she does and is passionate about creating custom pieces for her customers. She is open to working with different materials and has no problem changing the color or size of an item. Because all of her designs are handmade, no two pieces are alike, guaranteeing you something that is uniquely yours.
“Each piece of jewelry is crafted with my own two hands from start to finish, and I pride myself on the quality of my craftsmanship. I’m a true one-woman show. On top of designing and making all the jewelry, I take care of the shipping, bookkeeping, office tasks, product photography, social media updates, and more. Sometimes it gets a little crazy around my studio, but I wouldn’t give up being my own boss for anything.
Running my own creative business has definitely made me a more responsible, thoughtful and happy person. I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone many times, and push myself to be a better small business owner. It’s amazing to think that more than 1,200 people around the world could be wearing one of my creations at this very moment. When I purchase something handmade on the site, it becomes a special piece of mine that I cherish. Knowing that someone else took the time to create something lovely that speaks to me is wonderful, and I hope others feel the same way about my jewelry.”
To learn more about Kottage Kreations and their Hand Stamped Personalized Jewelry, please visit KottageKreations.etsy.com or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Don’t forget to take a look at the other fabulous shops and items featured in our Gifts for Teens – Holiday Gift Guide this year!
Hand Stamped Personalized Jewelry Gift Certificate Giveaway
As a special treat for my readers, Kottage Kreations has partnered with Naturally Frugalicious to sponsor the giveaway of a $30 Gift Certificate to their shop for one lucky reader! This giveaway begins on 11/19, ends on 12/3 and is open to US and Canadian residents, age 18+. Simply enter to win via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
Right now you are probably saying that if you are going to do anything with that basement, you will turn it into giant playroom for the kids. They will be able to make a mess and be as loud as they want to be, and you won’t be tripping over toys every 10 minutes. This is a great idea, but there is no reason you can’t have both. You deserve a relaxing place to escape to. You can easily create a small spa area in the corner of the basement for this purpose. Throw up a couple walls and a door, and you have your private getaway.
Hot Tub – Obviously, the priority in this space will be a hot tub. Therefore, you probably want to build your spa somewhere close to the laundry room for a water source. Make sure it has a locking lid, if you have young children.
- Comfy Chair – You won’t necessarily want to use the hot tub every time you just want to escape the chaos of the house for a few minutes. You need one super comfortable furniture piece. A bean bag chair is a great idea. You can also use a hammock.
- Water Walls – The whole idea of this room is to relax. This means you should not have to listen to the neighbor’s pool party or the kids arguing over the remote control upstairs. Water walls drown out those undesirable noises. Plus, you really can’t have a spa-like environment without some type of decorative water element. You can get a wall water feature at stores like Luxe Water Walls.
- Dehumidifier – Basements are typically damp, so when you add a hot tub to the space, you really need a dehumidifier to help prevent mildew growth. You don’t have to use it while you are in the spa. Just turn it on when you are done.
- Heat Source – Most basements are also a little on the chilly side. If you are in the hot tub you probably won’t mind, but if you are just relaxing you will need a heat source. Al electric or bio ethanol fireplace will be ideal.
- Rug – There is nothing cozy about a cold concrete floor. A rug is essential. Consider using an outdoor one. This way, you won’t have to worry about it absorbing water and staying wet.
- Other – Additional odds-and-ends, you might want to buy include a lamp, towel rack, mirror, reading material, iPod docking station and plants.