Random Delightful Gift: the Toddy Wedge

Here’s a random product that I tried out this fall that I have been meaning to share with you: the Toddy Wedge.

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It’s just a little bean-bag filled triangle thingy that you can use to prop up your phone. There’s no charger or anything like that, and it’s soft and squishy. You can use it as a hacky sack, which my kids have done.

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All it does is prop up your phone. While that might seem simple, it is, but it makes a huge difference when I am using the phone to display a recipe as I cook, or to play music or podcasts while I am sitting at my desk.

The Toddy Wedge has these advertised features:

Support for your iPhone, E-Reader, GPS or gaming devices without removing the case
100% microfiber for wiping screens clear of smudges and fingerprints
Dual-sided: Plush side to clean and silky side to polish screens

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No need for messy liquids or sprays that can harm your screen
Antimicrobial coating, preventing the build up of mold and mildew
Washable, air dry
Proudly Made in the USA

It’s only $14.99 plus about $4 shipping (for First Class mail) and the website takes PayPal. I unexpectedly love mine – anyone who receives a Wedge as a gift will likely do the same.

I received a free Wedge to facilitate this feature.

Try Giving Memories Instead of Things – Slideshows by Bari

A slideshow of memories makes a lasting, meaningful gift

christmas dinner in the 80's

Do the people in your life really need that box of cheap plastic crap that you can get on sale today for $4.99? Do you really want them to open a gift that they are going to forget the moment you walk out the door?

Think about the moments you remember – the time spent together, the milestones, the shared experiences. Even if you are far away you can make some smile, over and over again, with a thoughtfully designed photo slideshow.

Bari of Slideshows by Bari will take your photos (and even video clips) and compile them into an artful slideshow that you can show at events or send to loved ones across the miles. She made one for me so I could show it to you here: a set of memories for my grandmother (my “Nana”), who lives back in CT near most of the rest of my family. Nana has been a role model of a strong woman for me for my entire life. She had five kids and when they were old enough she started working in City Hall in my hometown and significantly influenced the culture and infrastructure of that city for decades. I remember sitting at her desk at City Hall when I was little (I don’t have a picture for that), and receiving gifts from her travels all over the world. I never knew that women were disadvantaged in any way. This is what I thought a woman was.

Nana is 93 now and doesn’t fly anymore so she hasn’t been out to visit us in several years. Our family does our best to FaceTime or Skype when we can’t be together especially over the holidays but it gets hard because my kids are such goofballs and won’t really allow a peaceful video chat call to happen.

Also, what do you get for the woman who has everything? Aside from flying to CT to be with her, which I wish I could do more often, I thought a slideshow of favorite memories would be a lovely gift. It has already been a lovely gift for me, from Slideshows by Bari:

kim from barif on Vimeo.

Bari’s turnaround time is amazing. This slideshow above has just over 50 photos in it – some that she scanned for me and some that I already had as digital files. She’ll also incorporate video clips if you have them. Her rate is usually $2 per photo, and I would say it’s totally worth it. Yes, your 9-year-old can probably make a slideshow with iPhoto, but it won’t get it done quickly (trust me) and with as much professionalism and skill as slideshows by Bari.

Slideshows By Bari
Agoura Hills

Let Tiny Prints Make Valentines For You

It’s a few days before Valentine’s Day.  The stores are all out of Transformers Valentine packs, and you have to send 23 of the love notes with your kid to his class party.  You simply do not have time to whip up 23 chocolate dipped heart shaped delights that will show off to the other kids and their parents how crafty you are.

Ah, but you do have the Internet, which is where all of your adorable pictures of Junior live anyway, right?

Tiny Prints, a division of Shutterfly, has a wide selection of designs you can choose from to create personalized Valentines.  At this late juncture, you’ll have to try for expedited shipping, but it’s worth it, because look:

 

Even though the website gave the cards’ dimensions, I didn’t realize how perfectly small these cards were until they arrived.  They are exactly the same size I remember of the Valentines from my own childhood, but they are classy and have my kids’ own photos included in the design.  Both both were delighted by the options online and helped me choose the photos and the final card design before I ordered.

Perfect little Valentines for little hands!

Plus, I used this opportunity to make a two-fer card:  a Valentine that we’ll send to our relatives that doubles as a late thank-you note for the Christmas gifts they sent us.

If your order is over $49, Tiny Prints will give you free regular shipping.  So if your procrastination of holiday cards extends to Valentines too, you’re good to go there!

I received complimentary Tiny Prints products to facilitate this review.  Agoura Hills Mom recommends!  Price scale: 3 out of 5 $$$.