It’s been a while since I did a gift guide, each year the holidays seem to creep up on me faster and faster and each year I am never prepared for them. Last year I had gotten fired from a position I held for 7 or 8 years without any warning or any cause (you can read about it here). Even though it was one of the best things that ever happened to me, it stung like a mother fucker at the time. It put me in panic mode – as it would anyone who just had their income taken away right before the holidays – and the holidays were just something I wanted to get through. If that wasn’t enough I got rear ended in mid December. It was a bad accident – the kid who hit us was texting – and both vehicles were totaled. OMG never try to buy a reasonably decent used car for under $5k right before Christmas. It was hell. I don’t recommend it. A year later I’m still trying to get my wrists, neck and lower back fixed. 

This is turning into my year end post, and that’s not what this is supposed to be. Anyway, it’s been a long time since I did a gift guide, but this one is worth the wait! Sit back, grab a beverage of choice and start your holiday shopping!

Most of my gift guides are actually about what not to give as gifts. I’ve actually received the worst Christmas gift ever, so I know a thing or two about this subject – do not, under any circumstance give your new wife an iron on your first Christmas together –  I’ve also received some awesome gifts. I’ve also given some shitty gifts – sorry dad, the wooden toilet seats really seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Shall we get started? 

{Wait, I have to get some CYA out of the way. Some of the links below are affiliate links which means I make a small percentage of the sale if you click on my link and make a purchase. This is what funds this blog so know how much I appreciate it when you do click on the links in my blog posts.}

Ultimate Gift Guide for the Last Minute Shoppers, the Clueless and What My Ex Husband Should Have Gotten Me Instead of the Iron

For the Home


For years I’ve said never, ever get a woman an appliance that “helps” her clean the house. If you really want to help her clean the house you can pick up your dirty underwear and put it in the hamper, wash the dishes, empty the dishwasher or hire a cleaning service. The only exception I have to this rule is the Roomba. As a tech lover, a pet owner and someone who likes a clean floor, I can’t imagine a better gift than the Roomba, especially this one that you don’t even have to empty but once a month. I’ve been asking for a Roomba for as long as they have been available. I have yet to get one. I’ve heard horror stories about these things with pets, but I don’t care, the thought of hairless floors and a vehicle for my cats to ride makes it a perfect gift.

Cleaning Services

If you’re local and want to give a gift that keeps on giving and really does free up some time then consider giving a gift of Fany’s Cleaning Services. Located in the Twin Cities and serving the entire metro area including Western Wisconsin, Fany’s Cleaning Services do an amazing job. 

Ring Doorbell

I got a Ring doorbell this summer and it is one of the best things I’ve purchased for the home. Not only do I finally have a working doorbell that took seconds to install, but I also can see when packages have been delivered, talk to people at my door from wherever I happen to be and the videos from Halloween are hilarious. I love my Ring doorbell so much I got one for the back door. We’ve had a lot of garage break-ins in the neighborhood in the last few years. While I don’t expect it will deter anyone from breaking into my garage, or home for that matter, at least I can get a really good video of the person doing it. It’s also pretty hilarious to see the videos of the dogs as I talk to them through the doorbell. 

Air Fryer

The Air Fryer is the Instant Pot of a few years ago, even though the Instant Pot is still a fantastic gift. The Air Fryer is for anyone who is trying to eat healthier and it’s great for those who are doing Keto. They fry foods using heat and air – basically a convection oven on your counter top. You can air fry just about anything that would normally be fried in oil saving you all kinds of worthless calories. It’s great for Keto because you can get the crunch that is missing from eating nothing but meat everyday. 

Instant Pot

I love my Instant Pot so much I bought another one because when I want to use it, it’s already in use. I make chilis, soups, pasta dishes and yogurt (omg the yogurt is so easy and so good). I also make bone broth with it so again, if you need a gift for someone who is Keto, the Instant Pot is perfect. Need some recipes for the Instant Pot? I have those too. 

Food Saver

The Food Saver is the perfect gift for the hunter in the family. Store all the venison easily in the freezer and forget about freezer burn. Save the bone broth from your Instant Pot. The Food Saver is a convenient way to vacuum pack food and other items to save space when storing. It’s great for food, but it can be used for other products too. It’s great if you’re packing and have limited space.

Smart Garage Door Opener

Oh how I would love to have one of these babies. Not only does this support Amazon Prime – you can have your groceries delivered and left in your garage safely – but it also allows you to provide guest access securely. Wireless and easy to install – open your garage door from anywhere. More importantly you can shut it from anywhere when the kids leave it open. 

Self – Improvement


Right now Masterclass is offering a BOGO. You can take a Masterclass for just about anything – from writing classes with the likes of Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume, David Mamet, Shonda Rhimes to photography with Annie Leibovitz or Jimmy Chin. Want to learn comedy? You can take a class from Steve Martin. There’s literally something for everyone at Masterclass and right now if you buy one you get one free.

Life Coaching

It seems like everyone is working with a life coach these days. I’ve recently started working with one myself and I can honestly say I have made more progress and had more success in just a few sessions (on the phone) than I did in 5 years of seeing a therapist. If you’re even a little curious you can get a free 30 minute consultation with Janna Fond. In addition to being a life coach she is also a licensed marriage and family therapist, so the best of both worlds. You can call her at 650-400-3214 or email her at


Harry & David

Food makes a great gift, especially if it’s something that reminds us of holidays past. For my family it’s the Fruit of the Month club from Harry and David. My grandmother used to give each of us a subscription to the FOTM club for Christmas. There is nothing better than fresh fruit (and a lot of it) each month during these cold winter months. Harry and David also has some great gift baskets filled with treats sweet and savory. They even have wine!

Oh Nuts!

Oh Nuts has all the nuts and chocolates you could ever want. You can shop by holiday, ingredients and even by color! There’s still time to get the best nuts to your favorite person this holiday season – even if that person is you.

Danish Butter Cookies

These butter cookies were in every home when I was growing up. Not only did everyone get these at Christmastime, but just about everyone’s mother used the tin as a sewing box. The cookies are delicious and it still makes a great sewing box.



I’m hoping I find one of these under my tree along with the Roomba this year. My iPad is one of the first generations and it’s about on it’s last leg. It’s also completely out of memory (pro tip – when buying tech of any kind opt for the maximum amount of memory you can afford. You can never have too much memory). iPads of today do so much more than ever before and the Apple Pencil makes it even more productive – note taking, drawing, jotting down ideas about the stuff I need to write on my blog – there’s so much I could do with this wonderful device.


There is no better e-reader than the Kindle. Take all your books with you when you travel and download even more quickly and easily. Amazon makes a variety of Kindles from the very basic e-reader to a full blown tablet that rivals the iPad. I love my basic Kindle because it’s easy to read and I don’t get distracted by the internet or games I might have downloaded on a tablet. It’s a great way to read in bed, on the plane, on the beach or in the living room.

For the Pooch


Don’t forget Fido this holiday season!! The Furbo is the latest technology for dogs and I am hopeful that Santa brings my two dufusses one of these high tech gadgets. Not only can you communicate with your pet through the Furbo, but it alerts you when your dog is barking. You can then click a button on your phone and deliver a dog treat to your barking pup as a distraction. Your neighbors will thank you. The Furbo will also take and send dog selfies to you. 

Dog Training

We used to call this obedience school, but really what it is is teaching pet parents how to interact with their pup to achieve the best behavior. Lilith and I are currently taking Dog Training classes at Petco and so far the results have been amazing. They’re offering a $40 reward when you purchase classes.

Bully Sticks

You don’t need to know what bully sticks are, just know that your dog loves them and will keep them busy for hours – unless your dog is like Ruby and then it’s good for about 45 minutes. 


Technically, Sphero is a robot toy for people, but it also makes a wonderful dog toy. We’ve had one for years and it is indestructible, and that’s hard to find in a dog toy. We use ours in the water, snow, grass – indoors too. This robot ball is hours of fun for people and pets alike. Works with any smart phone and is super easy to set up. The support they offer is outstanding too.


Nintendo Switch

We’ve been a Nintendo family since the 80s so when the Nintendo Switch came out a few years ago (along with a new Zelda game) we had to get it. It’s a fantastic gaming console for the whole family including the younger kids. The games are family friendly and it’s super easy to use. The Switch is great because you don’t have to use the TV to play the game. It’s a handheld device, but can also be used on the TV for dancing games or multiple player games. 

Nintendo Switch Lite

Same as the Nintendo Switch, but only handheld. Think of it as the latest Gameboy. I haven’t tried the Nintendo Switch Lite, but probably would have gotten it had it been available when I bought the original Switch. The kid rarely uses the TV, preferring to use it exclusively as a handheld game. The lite is a $100 less than the original Switch so if you aren’t going to use it on the TV it’s a better option.