You? My two front teeth? A hippopotamus? Custom built storm windows?

Even though we all might have very different items on our wish list this holiday season, Alex and I wanted to do a roundup of a few items that have caught our eye. Whether they're on our own list for Santa or are gifts earmarked for friends or family, we thought you might have as much fun looking through this eye candy as we had shopping. And hey, you might even check someone off your holiday shopping list.

For Our Four-Legged Friends

Seat Cover for Pets 
Lulu we're looking at you here. Lulu is great in the car...for the most part. But when we went skiing last year and started the drive up into the curvey and steep part of the trip, Lulu's stomach got a little upset and she got sick in the back seat. With our new car we want our seats protected if and when pet nauseau sets in, so this cover should be perfect. Besides a little pet vomit, it will also be great to protect the leather seats from Lulu toenail scratches and fur.

Skinneeez Dog Toy
These happen to be Lulu's all time favorite toys! She loves to tear around the house like a tornado with these stuffingless animals. They're also great because she likes to rip open the other animals and pull out and/or eat the stuffing. This isn't really an option with these animals, since there's none of that to rip out. Problems solved and Lulu still has fun. Now if only we could teach her some coordination and to learn how to catch.

For the Kitchen/Entertaining

Cupcake Carrier
Frequent readers of the blog may remember my penchant for baking cupcakes. I absolutely love the process as well as taking finished cupcakes to friends and parties to put a little smile on everyone's face. A big problem comes into play when you hit a bump in the car or do something clumsy and end up slamming your perfectly decorated cupcakes into one another. Problem solved with this little gem. I'm really hoping Santa will bring me one of these bad boys so I can say sayonara to wobbling trays and smashed baked goods.

Electric Opener and Wine Chiller Combo
Don't bother fumbling with opening your wine bottles during parties, and don't stress over serving wine at the wrong temperature while you run around and take care of everything else. Let this little device do it for you. The more stress you can take out of an event, the more fun your event will be.

Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
You may be saying "a wine aerator...really?" Yes, really! We were quite skeptical too but had our eyes opened on a trip to Napa Valley. At a tasting we were given a wine with and without aeration and the difference was noticeable. No need for timely decanting if you're in a rush, just run it through this little device. We absolutely LOVE ours!

Feeling Cheesy? Try a Slate Cheese Board
Throwing a party and need to serve a few appetizers? Nothing quite holds a candle to a good selection of cheeses, but don't be that guy who serves it on a paper plate. With this slate cheese board your presentation can be as tasteful as the aged stinky cheeses you've selected for your occasion.

Cheese Markers with Pen
Continuing on with my cheesy ideas, these great markers take the guess work out of cheese sampling. Now your guests don't have to wonder which is the aged Wisconsin white cheddar, and which is the smoked gouda -- you've already marked it for them. Once you've used them, the markers wipe clean so you can use them for your next big cheesy shindig.

Who knew measuring cups could be so fun?
Do your measuring cups bore you? Do you want to add a little bit of fun and interesting to your most routine of kitchen utensils? These measuring cups disguised as Russian nesting dolls should do the trick. Make cooking fun by adding a bit of the unexpected to the meal. It's a great way to involve kids in the cooking process as well!

Outdoor Items

Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Speakers
These speakers rock! As you may know, we're sort of audio geeks. However, our whole house audio seemed incomplete without the ability to have our tunes easily accessible and available outside. Enter these great little wireless speakers with some excellent sound. They are styled to look like lanterns, so they fit well with almost any decor, they're quite easy to setup, they have excellent range, and the sound easily fills our backyard. If you've been in the market for wireless speakers, or if you know someone who would like them for their home or yard, these are worth considering in your search. We can absolutely recommend them.

Some Like it Hot - Fire Pit Bowl
We've long considered adding a fire pit to our back yard, but we haven't found one that works for our needs. This may very well be the one we're looking for. The style is great, the footprint is wide enough to be very stable, and the configuration keeps the fire low and doesn't direct it up and into the trees like a typical chimenea. When we think of this fire pit, thoughts of crisp nights with a crackling fire and roasting marshmallows dance in our heads.

DIY Reference

Black & Decker DIY Reference Books
Do you know a new homeowner or someone who has been itching to get into the DIY side of home maintenance? The Black & Decker series has been excellent for us since day one. It's acts as a great reference piece when we need to know exactly what we're faced with. Sure, this is geared to the existing homeowner that is looking to get into more than just the paint & paper basics, but these books are great as detailed diagrams, explanations, and approaches to do everything you will typically need to do in both plumbing and electrical.

John Bridge's Tile Your World
Looking to lay a new floor in the bathroom? Maybe Install a food looking backsplash in your kitchen? Start with author John Bridge's guide to planning, cutting, laying, an grouting. installing our front vestibule was easy by following the steps and advice in this book. John also has a great website,, with a very active forum if you need advice from pros or some really great amateurs.

Fun Tools for Your List

Magnetic Wrist Screw Management
I actually picked one of these up for Alex last year, and it's been really convenient. I got sick of him holding screws in his mouth while up on ladders, fumbling around in his pockets for drill bits, and asking me to hold screw driver bits "just for a second," so I bought him this magnetized wrist wrap. He doesn't actually use it much on his wrist (apparently he's a princess and can't stand watches or anything like that), but he likes to hook it off of his belt or strap it to the side of his tool bucket. It keeps screws and bits handy for when he needs them, and he can load it up on the ground and then get up on the ladder. Best of all, no more screws in his mouth and no more need for me to stand there holding drill bits.

Just For Fun

Syma Gyro Helicopters
I know this is a little strange, but I've put this one in at Alex's request. These little remote control gyro helicopters are all the rage lately, and at $15-$35 depending on the model, they are a ton of fun. We have one, lots of his coworkers have them, and everyone who tries one out wants one. They also have replacement parts if you run into things quite often like he does. These little toys make an absolutely great stocking stuffer for kids (or big kids) or office gift exchange item, and they can confuse the heck out of your pets for added entertainment!

There you have it, just a few items that we have requested or are particularly fond of this Christmas. Are any of these items going to make it onto your lists? What sort of things are you absolutely pining for? Share what you're asking Santa for and maybe it will come true.

Comments 3


Nicole Hayes
12/8/2011 at 1:38 PM
awesome suggestions! i added some to my wish list!
12/9/2011 at 4:47 PM
I have a very similar dog seat cover for my border collie, Molly. They are wonderful! I don't have leather upholstry, which means I have fuzzies EVERYWHERE - hard to brush up on the fabric. Towels always slid around and blankets were hard to get in and out.

May I also recommend a 'seat belt' for Lulu? Molly's is like a padded harness that clips to the child safety points (started out clipping to the seatbelt, but my handy dandy son rigged a line with two swivel clips and a section of plastic coated tie out line). If you've ever had to panic brake with your pup in the back seat, you know how bad it could be.
Excellent point about the importance of doggie seat belts! We had a panic brake experience which landed Oliver in the passenger seat of the car, and from that point forward we ensure our "kids" are always safe and secure when traveling with us. Lulu doesn't have the type of padded harness you have (although I've seen them and might have to add this to my Santa list for the year). We actually put her in her normal walking harness, and have a leash that clips to her harness on one end and has a seat belt buckle on the other end. We shorten it so she has room to turn around and be comfortable, but not so long that she can reach the console. Thanks!
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