2017 Holiday Gift Guide



Imagination powered toys & games

Supplying everything you need to make a one-of-a-kind stuffed animal, each of these kits provides an engaging project that adults and children can complete together. No two kits are alike since the included assortment of fabric (largely wool) is sourced from second hand garments. Stuffed Dog Kit and Stuffed Penguin Kit sold separately.

With iconic designs from the classic film series, these kits let you create detailed models that you can assemble without tools or glue. Each comes with a colour booklet detailing the spacecraft’s background, design and capabilities, and includes photos, drawings and behind-the-scenes commentary on techniques used to bring it to life on screen. From easy-to-follow pictorial instructions, the laser-cut plywood pieces can be popped out and press-fit together in less than an hour. Ages 12 and up.

Anyone who has seen auto-factory robots at work can appreciate how fascinating hydraulic machinery can be. This model kit lets you build your own hydraulic robot arm capable of picking up and manipulating small objects. No electricity or batteries are required; all the arm’s movements are driven by water pressure and mechanical action. 

Compact enough to pack in a suitcase or backpack, these brain-teasing puzzles contain plenty of rainy-day fun – no charging cables or Wi-Fi required. Each of the two sets includes three traditional puzzles ranging from moderately challenging to downright maddening. Every puzzle requires a different set of problem-solving and spatial reasoning skills, so figuring one out won’t make it any easier to solve the next. The puzzles are made entirely of unpainted wood or metal and packaged in a matchbox-style container about 2-3/4” x 1-7/8” x ¾”. Due to their difficulty and small parts, the puzzles are recommended for ages 13 and up In case you are stumped, you can find the solutions on YouTube.

Tumblstix are the new fidget toys that have recently come out and they are a blast. They light up and you can do all kinds of great tricks with them. They are also much more durable then fidget spinners as they are made of rubber and plastic as opposed to ball bearings that explode everywhere when dropped. Check out my review here:  http://www.funkyfrugalmommy.com/2017/11/tumblstix.html
Stikbots are amazing little figures that can be used in animation created by children. They carry all different types of bots from people to pets and you can get all types of different animation kits to bring play to life! Check out my review here: http://www.funkyfrugalmommy.com/2017/11/stikbot-movie-sets.html

Gifts for the Gardener 

A unique way to display small plants, or even grow a few fresh herbs year-round. Watering is easy through a port in the top; a terra cotta reservoir inside allows water to seep into the soil as needed to maintain optimum soil moisture and to ensure it won't drip below. The plant and potting medium are held in place with a barrier screen and locking ring, preventing them from falling through when the planter is suspended upside down.

Based on the paint swatch books found in home improvement centers, this handy tool arranges over 200 plants according to their feature color (bloom or foliage). It allows you to quickly find plants that may blend in with current garden residents, or come up with a whole new selection. Includes annuals, perennials, trees, vines, aquatic plants and more. Each entry indicates hardiness zone, physical properties, preferred growing conditions and target season.

This decorative and practical two-piece watering set provides an excellent way to keep small to medium-sized plants hydrated, even while you are away. Simply push the 5” terra cotta spike into the soil beside the plant, fill the glass globe with water and insert the stem into the hollow spike. Water seeps through the semi-porous ceramic, wicking slowly through the soil to the roots where it’s needed most. The 3-1/2” diameter spiral-patterned globe holds 12 oz, and its glass finial provides a convenient grip for easy handling. Available in four colors. Aqua, Purple, Green or Blue Globe & Spike Set, $24.90 each.

While solitary bees are important for plant pollination, their numbers are declining due to a loss of suitable nesting locations. This nest provides a safe place to lay their eggs, helping to boost the local population of these beneficial, nonaggressive bees.
Approved by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, it has 20 nesting tubes of various sizes to accommodate different bee species. The space between the tubes is filled with porous volcanic stone to insulate from cold and heat, discourage mites and absorb moisture to prevent fungus growth. A pattern of broken color on the exterior draws the attention of bees, and a plastic shield on the front protects the tubes from being pulled out by birds and rodents. Made in Canada.

With large numerals on an 8" diameter face, this is an easy-to-read thermometer. It has both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales and operates with a bi-metal coil. The included bracket lets you mount it outside a window for quick reference, or to a wall or fence. The housing is anodized aluminum with an antique bronze finish. Ten-year guarantee. Makes an attractive, functional gift.

When growing plants indoors, it is often hard to know if they are getting enough light. This handy meter directly reads the amount of light (in foot-candles) from sunlight, high-intensity discharge lights and fluorescent lights. No batteries are needed because the meter is powered entirely by the incoming light.

Gifts They Never Thought Of

Blending high and low tech, this notebook provides a place to work out ideas through drawing and handwriting, while making it dead simple to create and save digital copies of your work. And when all pages have been filled, the entire notebook can be erased in seconds to use it over again.
The notebook comes with a blue FriXion fine-point pen, which uses a special heat-sensitive ink that can be erased two ways. The eraser on the end of the pen works through friction, leaving no smudges or eraser crumbs on the paper. Or simply heat the entire book in a microwave oven to erase everything at once (but it's probably best not to tell your accountant that you're cooking the books). Faint traces of your original marks may remain, so the pages can be reused about five times. Notebook, $34.50. FriXion® Pens, pkg. of 2, $6.75, sold separately.

If you've ever had to use the tip of a steak knife as an improvised screwdriver just to change the battery on a remote control, watch or toy, you'll appreciate this tool set. Along with various accessories for handling small components, it has a comprehensive array of small standard and specialty bits to fit the tiny fasteners found on most household electronics.

Made in India, this brass behemoth is based on a 15th century design that was completely mystifying to thieves. Not only does it require 3 keys and 4 sequential operations to open, but it has no noticeable keyholes. The lack of apparent keyholes and the fact that the 4 operations had to be performed in the correct sequence make it a marvel of deception in its day. With a solid brass body and a ½” diameter steel hasp, it weighs 2 lbs. enough to stop a charging moose. The lock is 5 1/2” high by 2 1/4“ thick. It includes 2 sets of keys (6 in all) and the puzzle solution.

If you’ve ever found yourself clutching a hot cup of coffee just to keep your fingers warm in the cold, you’ll understand why this is a convenient alternative. You can use it over and over again without having to dispose of spent batteries or single-use chemical packets. The slim unit slips easily into a glove or pocket, where it warms to about 104°F (40°C) in less than two minutes and provides hours of warmth without becoming uncomfortably hot. The internal 1000mAh capacity lithium-ion cell charges in less than 2 1/2 hours from any USB port (cable supplied).  A great gift for anyone who works or plays outdoors during the winter months.

These kits let you create models of butterflies with lifelike colors and details. The models are constructed of pieces that are laser-cut from a single 11cm (4-3/8”) square sheet of metal. To assemble, snip or pop out the pieces, and use mini needle-nose pliers (or tweezers) to bend the tabs and fit the pieces together. For ages 14 and up, each model is relatively easy to assemble in about an hour (with careful handling required for some delicate parts). The collection includes monarch, tiger swallowtail and red-spotted purple butterflies.


Similar to the tool you may have used in geometry class to draw arcs and circles on paper, this compass helps you cut circles of various sizes in rolled-out dough or fondant. A ruler with marked diameter pivots around a centering tool so you can cut circles ranging from 5” to 14” (in one inch increments). Interchangeable wheels with straight, scalloped or crimped edges snap easily into the cutting tool which can also be used separately as a freehand cutter.

As with all of its products, Lee Valley thoroughly tested this popular Pinterest-worthy item prior to including it in its assortment of quality kitchen products. With just a little practice, they were able to produce uniform, expert looking results with a single squeeze of a piping bag – they make decorating a breeze. Made from stainless stell with crisp, well-informed details, the tips are available in two sets: the medium set includes four tips, and the large has 10. Each set includes a plastic coupler for quick and easy tip changes. Extra couplers are sold separately so you can have multiple piping bags on the go. Fun to try and easy to use, these tips give impressive results – be prepared for compliments.  Set of 4, $9.50, Set of 10, with coupler, $24.50.

Just like the old "toothpick trick," this traditional kitchen tool offers a quick way to test if your baked goods are ready to come out of the oven. The natural broom-corn fibers hold moist dough or batter well, so you can clearly see if more cooking is needed. The wire-wrapped bundle contains well over 300 straws that snap off individually. Each is about 4" – long enough to reach the middle of large loaves and cakes. Handcrafted in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


Know this is NOT going to babysit your stove – it’s just going to stir!   Great for heating up stocks, thinner sauces, helping incorporate add-ins, and maintaining perpetual motion to prevent the formation of a skin (think cream sauce).    The "scraper" foot pulls along the bottom to mobilize pieces of reasonable size that have sunk to the bottom.  Available in October.

Highly rated by professional chefs, the Javelin thermometer gives accurate readings in four seconds. This means less time with the oven or barbecue open, so cooking temperatures remain more stable. Such quick results also permit precise control over tasks such as candymaking or preparing seafood, as you can see when critical temperature thresholds are approaching before it’s too late. The thermometer turns on automatically when you fold out the 2-1/2" probe and shuts off when you close it (or after 60 minutes of inactivity, to preserve battery life). The unit measures 7-1/2" overall and has an internal magnet for attachment to a fridge or other convenient steel surface. Accurate to ±0.9°F (±0.5°C), readings are given in Fahrenheit or Celsius, within an operating range of
-40° to 482°F (-40° to 250°C). Comes with a button-cell battery and a 5-year warranty.

Marked with six different scales, this 14 oz glass offers a convenient way to measure and convert between units. The large, easy-to-read markings display graduations in teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces, cups and milliliters. It also has a gram scale to let you measure out weights of flour and sugar by their equivalent volume, convenient when using recipes that list dry ingredients by weight only. Commonly used bar measures such as pony shot, jigger and split are displayed as well. Hand wash only.

This kitchen classic comes from a company that has been producing mortars and pestles for over a century. Made of unglazed porcelain that affords a textured surface for crushing seeds and spices, it won’t absorb flavors or odors. The mortar is heavy and stable to withstand the rigors of pounding and grinding; its generous one Imperial pint (20 fl oz./568ml) capacity lets you mix flavored oils, dressings or marinades right in the bowl.

Made in Spain, this well-made nutcracker doesn't just look different, it works better than others we've tried. Its 4" long beech grips let you exert controlled pressure to crack shells, leaving the meat of the nut – and your fingers – intact. Its spring-loaded aluminum jaws form a cup with a tapered shape that readily accepts nuts of various sizes (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and more); simply upend the cup and tap gently to release the contents.

This stainless steel chainmail scrubber makes cleaning large, gunky, or sticky messes from cast-iron pans much easier than you would think.  Cook's Illustrated has reviewed two scrubbers - one with smaller rings and one with larger rings.  This one is just right:  the rings are small enough to get into corners or between grooves of your cast iron grill .  Ideal for use on uncoated cast iron pans, the scrubber can also be used on Pyrex glass baking dishes!   Not recommended for use on enameled surfaces or regular stainless pans. Available late October.

Made of 100% cotton, these towels have a tight herringbone weave that helps to keep fibers from loosening, so they shed no lint. They leave a streak-free finish when used to dry glassware, china or cutlery, and won't scratch glass tabletops or mirrors. Machine washable, each measures 28-1/2" x 19" and has a tab for hanging.

Here’s a simple way to ensure consistent, professional-looking results when making your own stuffed pastry or pasta creations. The press lies flat on a counter as you place a piece of rolled dough on top; the cupped surface forms a pocket so it’s easy to add just the right amount of filling. As you close the press, it crimps the edge closed neatly, sealing the filling inside.  The set of three includes 2-1/2”, 3-1/4” and 3-3/4” diameter presses. A pleasure to use, they are real time-savers when making large batches.

Due to health benefits, fermentation is growing increasingly popular. This product works with the Mason jars you already own. Valve-and-weight sets simplify the process of fermenting small batches. The glass weight helps keep ingredients submerged, while the jar’s threaded collar holds the silicone airlock in place, acting as a one-way valve to keep air out but releasing built-up pressure so you don’t have to monitor it constantly. Simple and effective. Regular Mouth, $11.50, Wide Mouth, $12.50.

Lee Valley presents festive and timeless d├ęcor along with tree-trimming problem solvers. All products are available in store or online at www.leevalley.com.

Ornaments are often treasured for the memories they hold. With this kit, you can create a custom keepsake that lets you store messages or small items inside. Each includes a 2” diameter unfinished maple ball that you can decorate or personalize, and a cord for hanging. It also includes a metal capsule with a paper scroll for recording a message to put inside. A unique way to record momentous occasions. Made in Canada.

Keeping Christmas trees properly watered is always a challenge. All too often, the tree stand reservoir is too small, requiring frequent refills – an awkward and potentially painful exercise.  To avoid the problem, this simple device uses any 60 oz (2 litre) plastic soft-drink bottle (you supply) as a water source. The flow shuts off automatically when the stand is full and resumes again as it empties. Comes with a 5” long connecting tube and a clip to hold it.

This is probably one of the smartest winter decorations ever. Designed in Norway, it is a polypropylene mold for freezing water to make a candle lantern. These lanterns look stunning when set outdoors along a walkway in the evening. You can also use the mold to make an ice cream bowl of solid ice, or to freeze a block of juice and fruit to add to a bowl of punch. One mold can make hundreds of lanterns because it is reusable. Instructions included.

More than just an engaging family activity for the holidays, this 54-piece 3D puzzle creates a traditional-looking Christmas ornament that you can hang on the tree.

Made in Canada, consisting of pre-cut sanded pieces of unfinished wood that you assemble without tools. As with traditional log cabin construction, the wall pieces connect with saddle-notched joints. Log Cabin Kit, $12.50. Barn Ornament Kit, $14.95.
This DIY snow globe also doubles as a flower aquarium. Just fill it with water and add seasonal decorations and glitter to make an eye-catching snow globe.

Hang this brass ornament in your Christmas tree, and with just a light tap of your finger, its touch-activated circuitry turns the tree’s lights on or off. There is no need to crawl under the tree to plug in or unplug the lights. Young children are sure to have fun with it (of course, the fun can be curtailed by hanging the ornament out of reach).

This bag eliminates a lot of struggle and mess when hauling away the Christmas tree after the holidays. It lets you bundle the tree tightly so it fits through doorways and is easier to carry – you won’t scratch up your arms in the process or leave needles scattered all the way to the curb afterwards. With the bag spread out next to the tree, lay the tree onto the bag, then simply wrap it all up and cinch the straps. Made of tough nylon, it’s reusable year after year with trees up to 10’ tall. Probably one of the most functional gifts you can give for the Christmas season.

About Lee Valley
Lee Valley is a family-owned Canadian business headquartered in Ottawa that has been serving users of woodworking and gardening tools since 1978. Over the years, the company has expanded into hardware, kitchen and other home product lines. Lee Valley operates under three guiding principles – customer satisfaction, integrity and treating the customer as a friend. About one-third of Lee Valley’s total sales volume is generated from proprietary product designs. The majority of these designs are manufactured by Lee Valley’s Ottawa-based manufacturing arm, Veritas Tools Inc. Whether a tool from Lee Valley is made by Veritas Tools or is one of the 5000 or so sourced from around the world, it will always have a full guarantee.
Stores are located in Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Scarborough, Vaughan, Burlington, Waterloo, Windsor, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Coquitlam, Vancouver, Victoria and Halifax.  For more information, visit leevalley.com and follow the conversation @LeeValleyTools. 

 Gifts For Baby

From baby’s first cashmere cardigan to cozy sock sets, Boden offers quality fabrics and designs for children. This holiday season, discover top gifts for kids of all ages. Shop Boden’s Black Friday week event from 11/21-11/27 to take 30% off site-wide. Plus, get free shipping & returns on all purchases.
Here are a few of our favorite gifts for kids this holiday season.

Baby Cashmere Cardigan
This ultra-soft, 100% cashmere cardigan is adorable and functional. It’s machine washable, so no need to worry about food or dirt getting on it. Plus, it comes in a lovely presentation box, perfect for a Christmas surprise.
7 Pack Sock Box
The littlest sock lovers will delight in this whimsical gift set. With a different design for each day of the week, their toes will be kept warm all winter in a soft cotton blend and colorful patterns.
Pretty Supersoft Hooded Towel
Bath time just got more enjoyable with this super-absorbent (and precious) hooded towel. It comes packaged in a drawstring bag, making it a perfect present or stocking stuffer for kiddos up to 3-years-old.

Gift generously with Bobeau’s curated selection of top fashion gifts. Whether shopping for something classic, like a cardigan, or luxurious, like faux fur, there’s something for every women on your list. Shop their Black Friday week event from 11/19-11/25 and save 20% off $100+, 25% off $150+, and 30% off $200+.

Gifts For Her

Rumor Dolman Cardi
Relaxed yet refined, this ultra soft and light weight cardigan is a classic wardrobe staple. A perfect gift for the girl who values comfort as much as style.

Carlie Cardigan with Faux Fur Collar
For the friend who has everything, this faux fur collar cardigan is sure to be a first. The loose weave design is casual enough to wear on the weekend, while the collar makes it a chic piece to wear for date night.

Kinsey Mixed Tee
This tee is a perfect gift for the friend who loves crushed velvet as much as her favorite t-shirt. Pair with jeans for a casual vibe or a tuxedo blazer for girl’s night out.

The temperature may be dropping, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style for warmth. From classy tweed sweaters to cozy scarfs, discover new winter arrivals from Talbots. Take 40% off your entire purchase from 11/25-11/27 during their Cyber Monday event — no code needed.
Here are a few of our favorite picks.

Tweed Cable Yoke Sweater
This easy pullover sweater is crafted from super-soft Kitty Tweed yarn that looks as good as it feels. Pair it with jeans or corduroys for a stylish take on comfort. It’s a classic gift for your mom or sister that is sure to be worn all season long.
Sparkle Stripe Scarf
Celebrate the season in this must-have scarf. The jersey fabric keeps you warm while the fisherman rib construction adds a fun flair to a classic wardrobe staple. Makes a great gift under $50 for friends.
Heart-Embellished Ryan Suede Loafers
This menswear-inspired shoe gets a feminine upgrade in this new Talbots style. The glittery gold hearts add a fun flair for upcoming holiday dinner parties. Gift it to the shoe-lover on your list who loves a pop of color in her wardrobe.
From sweater jumpsuits to cascading maxi dresses, Rachel Pally’s holiday arrivals are anything but ordinary. Shop Black Friday on 11/24 and Cyber Monday on 11/27 to save 25% sitewide.
Here are our favorite pieces for switching it up and looking festive this holiday season.

Halter Sweater Jumpsuit - Black/Gold
Take your holiday look to new heights in this ‘70s-inspired sweater jumpsuit. Pair with strap gold heels to add some glam to this retro look. Whether hosting your own get-together or headed to a friend’s, this outfit is sure to stun.
Seaton Sweater Dress - Natural/Gold
Shine bright all season long in this gorgeous sweater dress. Looking glamorous and feeling comfortable aren’t mutually exclusive in this luxe piece. The gold fabric makes it a classic choice for a black tie New Year’s Eve party.
Errol Dress - Divine
Embody goddess vibes in this romantic wrap dress. The bell sleeves are the perfect touch for an effortlessly feminine look. You’ll feel both dressy and relaxed at even the most formal holiday parties.
With designers like Prada and Tome sending plaid prints down the runway, the fashion world took notice. This fall, ‘70s plaid is back, but with a major upgrade. Think modern patterns and versatile pieces like scarves and skirts.
Here are a few of our favorite pieces to bring plaid into your closet this fall.

Black Plaid High Waist Floral Print Mini Skirt
This preppy-meets-retro mini skirt from CHOiEs is perfect to pair with a white blouse and black boots. Throw on a blazer to complete the look.
Plaid Blanket Scarf
Every girl needs a go-to blanket scarf and we love this one from ILY Couture to dress up or down. Wrap once for a casual look or twice to bundle up on chillier days.

Plaid Slim-Leg Pants
These slip, tapered pants from Macy's make a statement in any wardrobe. If you’re bored with the usual black or gray slacks, these spice things up for fall.

Joie Dane Plaid Button-Front Top
This gingham plaid top from Saks Fifth Avenue features a two-tone design that truly stands out. Pair it with dark wash skinny jeans for a night out or tuck it into slacks for work.

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