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The Bonafide Broad’s Monthly Giveaway: January 2018

 

Hello Broads and Bruts!

Guess what day it is? Yep, New Years Day. January 1. Do you know what that means? January giveaway time!

 



 

January is all about new beginnings, resolutions, and starting fresh! Most of the resolutions that people make are related to being healthier, whether it be to lose weight, exercise more, or drink more water. Speaking of drinking more water, let’s check out the prize for the January giveaway!

 

The Prize:

This month’s prize encourages being healthier every day by drinking more water. Not just any water though, fruit-infused water, packed full of fresh vitamins and minerals. Check it out!

Infusion Pro Water Infusion Bottle

 

 

Fruit Infused Water by Annie Ramsey

 

 

 

Fruit infused water bottles are a big thing right now, and for good reason. There are significant health benefits that come from drinking water infused with fruit. Plus, it looks and tastes amazing!

You must be 18 or older and a U.S. Citizen in order to enter this sweepstakes, and, as usual, you need to sign up with your email. But there are several ways to get extra entries.

For example, you can follow The Bonafide Broad on Pinterest and Twitter, tweet about the contest, visit The Bonafide Broad’s Facebook page, answer a poll question or comment on a post on the blog. Just follow the instructions in the giveaway box below and it’ll walk you through all the ways you can enter. You can also repeat some of the options daily to get extra entries, if you want to. Take advantage of all of these options to better your chances of winning!

Entries will be accepted through January 10, at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be randomly selected, and will be announced in this blog post and on The Bonafide Broad’s Facebook and Twitter accounts on Thursday, January 11 at 10:00 a.m.

 

Enter here:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Good luck in our January giveaway Broads and Bruts!

 

 

 

This giveaway is listed on:

ILoveGiveaways.com:   <a href=”http://www.ilovegiveaways.com” title=”Giveaways”>Giveaways</a>

ContestChest.com

Online-Sweepstakes.com

ContestGirl.com

GiveawayMonkey.com:  <a href=”http://www.giveawaymonkey.com/” title=”Giveaway Monkey – Free Online Giveaways” target=”_blank”>Giveaway Monkey</a> 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 



 

How to Plan the Perfect Night Before Christmas

 

Well, Broads and Bruts, it’s finally here! Christmas Eve is upon us, which means tomorrow is the big day! Sure, we are all busy with our families right now, but I wanted to pop in to say hello and offer a little Christmas spirit. Do you want to plan the perfect night before Christmas?

While you likely have all of your Christmas Day festivities planned out, what about this wonderful day before? It’s screaming to be filled with fun and meaningful activities and traditions, to build anticipation for tomorrow.

Some families have little things they do every Christmas Eve. Why not add a new activity or three to your Christmas Eve this year?

Here are some fun ideas to try out, that just may become your new family tradition for years to come!

 

 

NOTE: This post may contain referral and/or affiliate links, so I make a commission from some of them. However, I promise I will NEVER recommend anything unless I have personally tried it or have done research and would purchase it myself. I will also remove anything from my blog that is unsatisfactory for any reason, so please contact me if you encounter a problem or issue with anything I recommend.

 

 

Read The Night Before Christmas

 

 

 

Are there any better words to begin a story? So classic, so exciting! It’s a short read, and you can have the kids take turns. Even as an adult, you can’t help but get caught up in the magic that is Santa Clause. Especially as you all shout out in unison the last words of the story: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”

 

 

 

Get the ebook here for only $5.04, and read it on the free app Amazon offers.

 

 

Open a Gift

 

 

In our family, we like to get a nice cozy pair of pajamas for each member, and open the gift the night before Christmas. That way we all go to bed in fresh pajamas, and wake up in the morning feeling crisp, new, and ready to open gifts!

However, if you haven’t planned ahead for that, why not each open one gift from under the tree? It’s a nice preview of what’s to come, and really builds up the anticipation.

 

 

Take a Walk in the Snow

 

 

Do you live in a place where you have the privilege of enjoying a white Christmas? Why not bundle up on Christmas Eve and take a family walk together?

It’s the little things that make life worth it, right? Let those snowflakes land on your tongue, make snow angels, have a snowball fight, or build a snowman. Just enjoy each other! Isn’t that what the spirit of Christmas is all about?

 

 

Make Treats

 

 

This one is kind of obvious, as you need to leave cookies out for Santa anyway. But this year, make it a big affair. Have everyone participate in mixing, baking, and decorating. Try making something besides cookies, like cupcakes or cake pops. Santa (or mom and dad) will appreciate it, too!

 

 

Have a Drink

 

 

Kid free? How about a drink? Have  mom, Aunt Sally, and Grandma Peaches all get cozy in their pajamas, and then crack open a bottle of wine, or make a nice hot buttered rum.

Here’s a yummy recipe!

 

 

Take a Drive to See the Christmas Lights

 

 

Again, bundle everyone up, squeeze in the car (or two), and take a drive to a local neighborhood or area known for having awesome Christmas lights. Every town has that neighborhood that just goes ALL OUT when it comes to putting up lights.

Just don’t forget your camera!

 

 

Keep Tabs on Santa

 

 

Did you know that Google has an amazing Santa Tracker? Get the kids excited by checking in on where Santa is throughout the evening. If you are awake when he flies over your area, run outside to try to catch a glimpse of Rudolph’s nose! Point out a plane flying over head and show them that Santa is coming!

Follow the Santa Tracker here.

 

 

Make Homemade Hot Cocoa

 

 

I truly believe there is nothing in this word better than a homemade cup of warm chocolaty, creamy cocoa on Christmas Eve. Of course, you need marshmallows too. And you may as well leave the bag within reach, because I’m going to need to reload on marshies at least twice!

Try this delish recipe by Martha Stewart!

 

 

Play a Game

 

 

You’ve made the hot cocoa, and the family is all gathered anyway. Why not play a game? Charades is a great one for the whole family. Or if the kids are already in bed, how about Cards Against Humanity?

Just watch out for Monopoly! It sucks you in and never ends!

 

 

Draw Santa a Picture

 

 

This is a great idea to keep the kids busy, and is actually quite fun for adults too. Just set out some washable markers or crayons and paper, and have everyone draw their favorite Christmas memory, or their best portrait of good ol’ Saint Nick.

Plus, you can tuck those pictures away and save them for when the kids get older. They’ll love taking a walk down memory lane, and so will you.

 

 

Give Back

 

 

You know the kiddos will be getting lots of new toys. How about giving them each a bag or box and having them fill it with some of their old toys to donate? Make sure they aren’t broken or ruined. Not only will you be making room for the new toys, but you are teaching the kids to give back.

Have them leave their box or bag of toys near the tree with a letter to Santa asking him to donate them to kids in need. Just don’t forget to drop the donations off at your local community house or domestic violence shelter later this week.

 

 

Sing!

 

 

Buddy Elf had it right. Singing is contagious, and while at first you may feel a bit awkward, pretty soon you’ll be shouting “Deck the Halls” at the top of your lungs.

This is a great way to wrap up your evening. You can all sit together around the fire (or the tree) and sing your favorite carols.

 

My family will be doing some of these today. It will be the perfect night before Christmas! What about you? What are your favorite Christmas Eve traditions? I’d love to hear! Have fun!

 

 

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

 

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 



Last Minute Do-It-Yourself Dollar Store Gift Ideas

This post may contain referral and/or affiliate links, so The Bonafide Broad makes a small commission from some of them. However, there will NEVER be a product recommended on this blog unless a member of the team has personally tried it or has done research and would purchase it themselves. If anything recommended on this blog is unsatisfactory for any reason, please contact theog@thebonafidebroad.com so the recommendation can be removed.

 

Bonjour Broads! Today, I have seven amazing DIY dollar store gifts you can make in just a couple of hours!

Why do you need these ideas, you ask? Well, if you’re like most of us, when it comes to getting gifts, sometimes you put it off until the very last minute.

The worst feeling is when you finally decide on that one perfect item, and low and behold! It’s out of stock. You’re shitting me, right?

So I’m gonna help you out, because I’m nice like that. Now, most gift idea posts like this are round ups of D.I.Y. tutorials from different blogs. However, I really wanted to SHOW you how easy and quick these gifts are to make and how well they turn out. I want you to have the confidence to do these yourself.

What better way than to show you by doing them myself? If I can do it, you surely can! So, on my way home from work last night I stopped by the dollar store and grabbed a few items. Then I spent about 2 hours and 15 minutes working with these items, and I ended up with seven brilliant gifts.

Not only were they cheap, but they were quick and easy, and they are beautiful! I would love to receive any of these as a gift. The best part is, they don’t look like they came from the dollar store.

Here are seven do-it-yourself dollar store gifts you can make this evening!

 

 

**As you know, I’m a pretty savvy craft supply shopper, so I’ve included links next to most of the items I am using here to show you which particular supplies I myself would purchase to get the best deals. Please don’t feel pressured to purchase anything! The point is to show you what I get.**

 

 

Okay, so here are the items I purchased:

 

 

1 plain wine glass (here)

1 striped wine glass (similar item here)

36 pack clothespins (here)

2 bags glass beads/marbles (here)

Glass vase (here)

White mug (here)

White bowl (here)

Picture frame (similar item here)

 

I spent less than $10. Whoop whoop!

 

Here are the items I had at home that I used for these projects:

E6000 glue (here)

Mini glue gun (here)

Mini glue gun sticks (here)

150 pennies

Paint markers (shown below) or Sharpees (here)

Soy wax flakes, or any kind of candle wax, even the ends and pieces of old burnt candles (here)

Dye chips or crayons (here)

Fragrance oil, essential oils or perfume/cologne (here)

Candle wick (here)

Rubbing alcohol and cotton pads/balls

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the list above, you can substitute lots of different items and still achieve similar results.

I’m going to walk you through each project. Like I mentioned, it took me only 2 hours and 15 minutes total to make all seven gifts. So each gift is pretty quick, and also simple.

Before starting, you’ll want to grab a drink and a snack. I like a glass of wine usually, but tonight I’m going for this:

 

 

You pick whatever floats your boat, and let’s get started!

 

Wine glass candle:

My purpose for the striped wine glass is to make a pretty candle. There a couple of different ways to do this. I always have candle making supplies at my house. I get kits off ebay because those are the best deals, and they include your wax, wicks, dye chips, and fragrance oils (this is the exact kit I got, and I will be getting it always). However, if you don’t have those supplies, there are other ways to do this.

I always save my old store bought candle jars with the little bits of wax left in the bottom. I dig the wax out and dump it into and old ice cream container, to save for when I have enough to make a full candle. Then I scrub out the jars and save them for future candles.

Put a glass bowl over a saucepan of water, to use as a double boiler. Turn the heat to medium-low.

 

 

Throw your wax ends and pieces, or a few scoops of the wax you have on hand into the glass bowl. I like a bowl with a spout because it makes for easy pouring. I’m using extra wax because I’m making a few candles.

 

 

Let the wax slowly melt. Don’t hurry the process. While you are waiting, put your wick into your wine glass.

 

 

If you don’t have wicks, and don’t want to buy any, here is a great tutorial on making wicks from regular household supplies.

 

 

Once the wax is almost completely melted, you can add your dye chip. I used one green dye chip, but you can use a green crayon and it’ll work just as well.

Keep in mind, if you used the ends and pieces of old candles, that you’ll want to sift out the black bits and metal pieces that may floating around in the wax. Use a spoon or something mesh for this.

The last ingredient is the fragrance oil. If you don’t have fragrance oil, you can use essential oils, or perfume. I don’t really measure, I just smell. More is better! I’m mixing two flavors, cinnamon sticks and apple cinnamon.

 

 

Once you’ve added the fragrance oil, immediately turn off the heat and pour wax into prepared jars. I made four candles.

 

 

Doesn’t it look purdy??? Lay a dowel or a pencil across the top of the glass to keep the wick centered. Let it cool and solidify and that’s all there is to it!

 

Clothespin Trivet:

This trivet is so pretty and useful. You can spray paint it when finished or cover it with a clear varnish. Or you can leave it natural, like I did.

You’ll need to take apart the clothespins. Once done, get your glue ready. This trivet is all about the glue. I use E6000 because I think it works better than anything else.

 

 

First, you basically want to glue the pieces in twos, flat sides together (below).

 

 

Glue them all back to back. Make sure to wipe off any excess glue that squeezes out the sides. Once they are all glued, let them dry for a few minutes.

 

 

While waiting, work on one of the other projects.

After they’ve been drying for a few, glue two pieces together, as shown below.

 

 

Do the same with the rest of the clothespins, and then let them sit again to dry for a few.

 

 

Next, you are going to glue each of these pieces together. You are basically repeating the process over and over, glue pieces together and letting them dry, and each time the pieces are getting bigger, like so:

 

 

Finally, you will have glued them all into a nice trivet.

 

 

Set it on a completely flat surface and leave it to dry overnight. Don’t mess with it, because it can easily come apart and weaken if it’s not completely dry. That’s it!

 

Glass Bead Picture Frame:

This is so simple, but the results are fantastic. Dollar store frames always look so cheap to me, but with this little tweak, you turn it into an expensive looking frame. Add a sentimental photo, and it’s the perfect gift!

You’ll need your glue gun warmed up for this project and the next one, and make sure you have plenty of extra glue sticks nearby.

 

 

I’m using the flatter marbles for this project. All you need to do is put a healthy dot of glue onto each glass bead, and line them around the frame.

 

 

They don’t have to be perfectly straight, because your glass beads aren’t all exact. It’ll still look great when finished.

 

 

Once you have the beads around the entire frame, you’re done! Easy peasy!

 

Penny Vase:

I love pennies as decorations! The shiny copper adds a great texture to any project, and they give off sort of a high-end eclectic look. I used a medium sized vase, 150 pennies, and the glue gun for this project.

 

 

First, I let the pennies soak in hot water and dish soap. Then I rinsed them well and dumped them onto a towel to dry.

 

 

After the pennies are dry, it’s pretty simple, just like the picture frame. Just put a healthy blob of glue on each penny, and stick them to the vase. I put all my pennies heads up because I like how that looks. It’s also okay if your pennies are different colors. It adds to the look to have shiny, medium and dull pennies in the mix, like so:

 

 

Once the whole vase is covered, you are dunzo!

 

Hand-Decorated Dishes

The last three gifts are done essentially the same way, so I’m combining them into one section. You’ll need your paint markers or Sharpees,  rubbing alcohol, and cotton pads or balls.

 

 

First,  preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Then you’ll want to wash your bowl, mug, and wine glass in warm soapy water. Make sure you dry them very well.

Next, put a generous amount of rubbing alcohol onto your cotton, and clean off each dish to get any residual oils from your fingers off, so the paint/Sharpee will stick properly.

 

 

At this point, you need to decide what kind of pattern or drawing you want to do. You can do ANYTHING. I’m not the best at drawing with markers, so I’m going to stick to patterns. Once you have your idea, start drawing!

 

 

Don’t let yourself get too nervous. These don’t need to be perfect. In fact, they have more character if they aren’t perfect!

 

 

Once you have your artwork done, make sure it dries for a few, and then put the dishes on a baking sheet and pop them into the preheated oven. Bake for 2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Right about now, you can put a fork in it, because you are DONE!

So, for less than $10 of money, and only a couple hours of my life, I went from this…

 

 

 

to THIS!!!

 

 

Aren’t they gorgeous??? (Ignore my crooked dots inside the bowl, I think the Guinness was starting to kick in). Anyone in your life would be lucky to receive one of these gifts. Not only are they super snazzy, but they were made from the heart. Is there anything better?

So instead of feeling overwhelmed and settling for a gift card, AGAIN, try making one (or all) of these do-it-yourself gifts!

Now grab ten bucks and get on over to your dollar store!

 

You got this!

 

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 



2017 Gift Guide for Teenage Boys: 30 Awesome Ideas

Without a doubt, my biggest dilemma during holiday shopping this year is what to get for my stepson, D. I need a guide to tell me exactly what teenage boys like! I don’t know about you, but I feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off! It feels like it will never end.

Why are teen boys so difficult to shop for? And forget about asking them what they want. All I’ve gotten so far in response to that question is “Uhhh…” and “Well…” and “I’m not sure.” So I guess I’m on my own.

I’ve been perusing catalogs, Amazon, and Pinterest, and have FINALLY compiled a pretty phenomenal list of gift ideas for teen boys. Several of these are sitting under my tree right now marked with a D. Hope he likes them. Hope YOU like them! Here goes!

 

NOTE: This post may contain referral and/or affiliate links, so I make a commission from some of them. However, I promise I will NEVER recommend a product unless I have personally tried it or have done research and would purchase it myself. I will also remove anything from my blog that is unsatisfactory for any reason, so please contact me if you encounter a problem or issue with any product I recommend.

 

 

Parrot Mambo Fly Minidrone

 

Drones are all the rage. This one is great, because not only is it affordable, but your teen can control it with their phone. It will also teach them some basic coding skills! It’s safe to fly inside and outside, too.

Only $99.99! Get it here.

 

 

GeekFuel Subscription Box

 

 

Geek Fuel is a fantastic subscription box for anyone. I get it for D, and he LOVES it! Check out my review of November’s box for an idea of what’s inside. Plus, being a monthly subscription, it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Only $24.90/month! Get it here.

 

 

Kidzlabs Combination Lock Set

 

 

Remember watching the Davinci code and seeing the Cryptex they had to break into? I wanted one SO bad! This is a great sort of replica. Your teen can store secret messages or whatever he wants inside and set a combo. Fun!

Only $12.38! Get it here.

 

 

Leonardo Davinci Inspired Clock

 

 

Speaking of Davinci, this is such a cool looking piece! It’s a reproduction of one of Leonardo Davinci’s sketches. It’s great because it doesn’t require nails or glue, it just snaps together. Keep in mind that this is an educational toy, and it doesn’t run like a regular clock. It winds, but the power won’t last a long time. It’s designed to teach your kid how Davinci’s mind worked. Plus it’s hella cool looking!

Only $13.99 ! Get it here.

 

 

Walkie Talkie Set

 

 

Walkie Talkies are an awesome gift for teen boys. They will have a blast playing with their friends and being able to communicate at a distance. I got this exact set for D this year.

Only $19.99 ! Get it here.

 

 

Rechargeable AA Batteries w/ Charger

 

 

 

I grabbed this for D, to go with his walkie talkies. Honestly, I think everyone needs one of their own rechargeable stations like this. Kids always have toys that need batteries, and they’re expensive. Especially for a toy like a walkie talkie, which will be used all the time. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run!

Only $9.59 ! Get it here.

 

 

Dart Board

 

 

 

 

All guys like dart boards. This one is especially cool because it’s a regular dart board on the front, and a baseball dart board on the back. Two games for the price of one!

Only $13.50! Get it here.

 

 

Gaming Rocker

 

 

 

 

Gaming chairs are awesome! This one is ergonomically designed for better posture, and includes built-in speakers, incorporated audio controls and a headphone jack.

Only $64.94! Get it here.

 

 

Game Stop Gift Card

 

 

Gaming is an everyday part of a teen guy’s life. It can be hard to pick the right game, because every guy has his own picky little preferences. So let him pick it himself! Problem solved.

Only $25! Get it here.

 

 

Over-the-Door Basketball Hoop

 

What teenage guy (or any guy for that matter) doesn’t want a basketball hoop in their bedroom? They’re using the garbage can already, so why not give them this awesome over-the-door hoop? Spalding makes an excellent product, and since the backboard specs are the same as the NBA,  your little man will feel like the NBA is right there in his bedroom.

Only $33.99! Get it here.

 

 

Razor Hovertrax 1.0 Electric Hoverboard

 

My step kids each got one of these for Christmas last year and they LOVE it! It has superior stabilization and meets the highest electrical safety standards. Plus, it goes up to 6 miles per hour and can be used continuously for up to 115 minutes.

Only $229.00 ! Get it here.

 

 

Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

 

 

This droid is fantastic! It has won 6 awards, and is completely kid-friendly. Your teen can work on 16 different missions, and they can teach the droid new skills. They’ll be playing AND learning. What’s not to love?

Only $99.00! Get it here.

 

 

Bluetooth Speaker Backpack

 

 

I’m seeing these bluetooth speaker backpacks everywhere, and D has been wanting one for a while. Pretty self-explanatory, and pretty rad, too!

Only $79.99 ! Get it here.

 

 

Nerf Doomlands 2169 Negotiator Blaster

 

 

What teen guy doesn’t like Nerf? I love Nerf toys, and I’m a gal. They’re just fun! This one can fire 8 darts in row. Whoop whoop!

Only $19.99! Get it here.

 

 

The Manual to Manhood by Jonathan Catherman

 

 

I’m pretty picky about getting books for teen boys, because a lot of times they’ll just sit on a shelf and collect dust. However, this is an easy reader, and a subject your teen is really becoming interested in. It’ll help him with all of those essential skills a guy is expected to learn along the way to adulthood.

Only $6.10! Get it here.

 

 

 

Magnetic Desk Sculpture

 

This sculpture is not only sick looking, but it’s also supposed to help with stress relief and intelligence-building. With 160 stainless steel balls, the combinations are endless, and will keep your teen’s mind working.

Only $9.99! Get it here.

 

 

Electronic Mini ATM Piggy Bank

 

 

Everyone should have a personal piggy bank, especially teens. It’ll help them to learn to save, even if only a little bit. This is super cool looking, too! Anything to get your kid saving money, right?

Only $28.99! Get it here.

 

 

Basketball 3D Illusion Night Light

 

 

For those teens who aren’t necessarily AFRAID of the dark, they just don’t like it too well.

Only $20.90! Get it here.

 

 

Dollar Shave Club

 

 

Dollar Shave Club makes the BEST razors. I’ve been subscribing to this club for years. I get refills every other month, and it’s less than $10 a pop. Your teen will love it!

Only $5 for the first month, and $9 per month after that! Get it here.

 

 

Camping Hammock

 

 

Hammocks are life! Your teen will love sleeping under the stars on camping trips next summer, or even just in the back yard. You’re gonna want to use this too, trust me!

Only $19.99! Get it here.

 

 

Dakine Vert Rail Wallet

 

Every teen guy needs a wallet. This popular Dakine wallet has a great tri-fold design with a zippered coin section. Slip a $20 in and you’ll have a happy kid!

Only $11.95! Get it here.

 

 

Wallet Ninja

 

 

Since, you’re getting him that awesome wallet, why not grab him the Wallet Ninja to go with? This has so many different functions! 18, to be precise. It has a bottle opener, four screwdrivers , can opener, nail puller and so much more!

Only $8.49! Get it here.

 

 

Money Maze Puzzle

 

Cash is always a great gift for teens. How about making it a little more interesting by putting it in this Maze Money Box? It’ll make your teen use his brain to get his reward.

Only $8.90! Get it here.

 

 

Funny T-Shirt

 

 

T-shirts with funny sayings always make good gifts for teens. This one is great for your little gamer.

Only $11.54! Get it here.

 

 

Magnetic Shoe Closures

 

I hate shoe laces. I keep mine tied just loose enough to not have to untie and tie them when putting my shoes on or taking them off. These magnetic shoes closures take away that problem by keeping them tied always. Every lazy teen will love them!

Only $10.99 ! Get it here.

 

 

Bluetooth Beanie

 

Like the bluetooth backpack, this beanie has built in speakers that your teen will love. He wont have to worry about misplacing his earbuds or headphones.

Only $17.99! Get it here.

 

 

Magic Gravity Ball

 

 

With this crazy ball, your teen can impress his friends by creating the illusion of no gravity. There are no strings, it’s simple hand manipulation, but very impressive!

Only $34.89 ! Get it here.

 

 

Beginner’s Acoustic Guitar Set

 

D is getting this for Christmas this year. He has expressed interest in playing guitar, but until he has some lessons and we are sure it’s going to stick, we are cautious of spending a great deal of money on something expensive. This kit is great because it’s super affordable, and includes everything your teen needs to get started playing guitar. If he loves it and sticks with it, then D will get the step up next year!

Only $34.95! Get it here.

 

 

Ultimate Gym Duffel by FocusGear

 

For those teens who are athletes, a gym duffel is always a great gift. This one was designed after FocusGear did a crowd-sourcing research project to see what features athletes think are most essential in a gym bag. Your kid will love!

Only $24.99! Get it here.

 

 

Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani

 

Last, but certainly not least, it’s essential for your teenager to have a good cologne (boys stink, remember?) Acqua di Gio is a classic scent every guy, young or old, should own.

Only $85 for 3.4 ounces ! Get it here.

 

 

There you have it! If you don’t find at least a few great ideas for your young Mister on this list, it may be a lost cause! Happy shopping!

 

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

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2017 Gift Guide For Tween Girls: 30 Amazing Ideas

 

Chilly air, traffic, bells ringing, Starbucks in hand, …yep, it’s mid-December and Christmas shopping is in full-swing. Most of us have at least SOME idea of what we’re getting our loved ones…but some people are just so damn hard to shop for!

 



 

I have a tween stepdaughter who sometimes stumps me when it comes to gift-picking. So, with her by my side to give me her tween expertise, I created this fantastic gift-guide to give us busy Broads some direction. The gifts on this list are affordable, and every single one is approved by a real-live tween girl. Any one of these is guaranteed to give you a happy kid on Christmas morning. Enjoy!

 

NOTE: This post may contain referral and/or affiliate links, so I make a commission from some of them. However, I promise I will NEVER recommend a product unless I have personally tried it or have done research and would purchase it myself. I will also remove anything from my blog that is unsatisfactory for any reason, so please contact me if you encounter a problem or issue with any product I recommend.

 

 

Cat Watch

 

 

This little gem is about as cute as it gets! It’s not only functional, but it’s also fun, and can be a piece of jewelry as much as a timepiece. It’s affordable to boot!

Only $8.48! Get it here.

 

 

Save, Share, and Spend Piggy Bank

I LOVE this piggy bank because it teaches your gal that money must be separated and budgeted. It’ll help her see that there are many different reasons for saving money, and get her in the frame of mind to save. What more could you ask for in a gift for under $20?

Only $19.99! Get it here.

 

 

Gel Pens

 

 

 

 

This is a fantastic set of gel pens, and, she doesn’t know it yet, but I purchased these for my stepdaughter, Miss P,  because colorful pens are one of her favorite things ever. It’s a great set; it has 100 pens AND 100 refills. Gel pens always seem to run out more quickly than other kinds of colored pens, so the refills are genius!

Only $20.98! Get it here.

 

 

Poop Emoji Plush Throw Pillow Set

 

 

I’m not sure what it is about the poop emoji, but kids and teens seem to love it! This plush pillow set is the perfect trendy item to add to your little lady’s bedroom decor. Plus you get two smaller ones to hook to her purse or backpack.

Only $11.99! Get it here.

 

 

Motivational Notebook

 

 

Notebooks are always good gifts for tweens, what with school, projects, homewrok, etc. This is a great option because of it’s supremely positive and upbuilding message. It will remind her every time she opens it that she is worth so much, and she can do anything!

Only $6.49! Get it here.

 

 

Locking Diary

 

 

 

Take the notebook idea a step further and get your gal a locking diary. Tween girls are about to cross the threshold into womanhood, and privacy becomes an essential aspect of their personality. Let her know you support her right to privacy by gifting her a locking diary.  She will value knowing that her deepest thoughts are safe and protected.

Only $9.99! Get it here.

 

 

Sequin Mini Backpack Purse

The backpack purse trend is in full swing, and I think it’s perfect for young teens. They aren’t quite into carrying full blown purses yet, but they want something that’s cuter than their school backpack. This sparkly mini backpack is snazzy as can be, and solves the transition from backpack to purse.

Only $24.00! Get it here.

 

 

Jewelry box

Every gal needs a jewelry box. I love this one because it has so many fun compartments, plus the color is so pretty. Miss P loves aqua, as do many young girls her age, so it’s top notch!

Only $25.99! Get it here.

 

 

Ipsy Subscription

 

 

Subscription boxes are just plain fun. Who doesn’t love getting a gift in the mail that is full of fantastic samples and deluxe sized products, all housed in a super adorable little makeup bag? Everyone loves that! Ipsy is one of the original beauty subscription boxes, and it’s still a favorite of mine. Plus, it’s the gift that keeps on giving! You’re lady will look forward to getting her pink bubble mailer every month, just like my little gal and I do!

Only $10/month! Get it here.

 

 

Princess Lace Bed Canopy

 

 

This gorgeous bed canopy will take your tween’s bedroom from typical to an over-the-top fairyland. She will feel luxurious and royal with her princess bed. Add some twinkling LED lights to it and it’ll make  her bedroom feel like a beautiful little fantasy land!

Only $15.99! Get it here.

 

 

Mermaid Makeup Brush Set

 

 

Like Miss P, your tween girlie is probably just beginning her life-long love affair with makeup. This brush set preserves the girlishness of her age, but she will love using, too. They’re just so damn adorable!

Only $12.99  ! Get them here.

 

 

Mermaid Blanket

 

 

Speaking of mermaids, what Broad didn’t dream of being a mermaid when they were little? I know I did! I wanted to have the beautiful shiny and sparkling tail. I bet your tween wishes the same thing! Now she can really feel like a mermaid while lounging around with this cozy blanket.

Only $21.99! Get it here.

 

 

Ombre Hair Chalk Kit

 

 

The bright hair color trend is in full swing, and little girls want to jump on that bandwagon just as much as us big girls do. But the damage that bleaching and coloring can do to your tween’s delicate hair isn’t worth it. Enter hair chalk. She can apply it herself, and it washes out easily! So us moms will be happy, too!

Only $9.99! Get it here.

 

 

Lighted Vanity Makeup Mirror

 

 

These mirrors are always great, because they offer really good lighting for makeup application. This will make your little girl feel like a movie star in her dressing room! Be careful though, because you’ll be tempted to steal it!

Only $31.99! Get it here.

 

 

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Bundle

 

 

This camera is SO MUCH FUN! Not only is it super cute, but your tween will get the instant gratification of having a picture in her hand in a matter of seconds. I love this bundle on Amazon because it includes the camera, a case, two packs of film (40 pictures), and 4 AA rechargeable batteries with the charger. How great is it that you won’t have to go buying batteries every week, too?

Only $99.99! Get it here.

 

 

Instax Mini Colorful Accessory Set

 

 

To make her Instax Mini Camera bundle even BETTER, why not give her an accessory set to decorate her photos? This accessory set includes frames and stickers to decorate the photos, as well as a string with colored clothespins, so she can hang and display her favorite pics. It also includes a cute camera strap!

Only $9.99 ! Get it here.

 

 

Unicorn Bath Bombs

Unicorn anything is awesome, and right now, bath bombs are all the rage. These little gems are so colorful and fun, they will make her bubble baths so much better! They also smell like rainbow sherbet, which is apparently exactly the scent of unicorn farts.

Only $19.97! Get it here.

 

 

Plush Unicorn Slippers

While we’re talking about unicorns, grab your gal a set of super soft and plush unicorn slippers. They are cozy and cute as can be, and will make her the hit of any pajama party she attends.

Only $19.99! Get it here.

 

 

Cat Ear Headphones

 

Animal ear headphones are everywhere, and I gotta say, they are so effing adorable, I want a pair of my own. These kitty cat ones are well-reviewed, and the price point is excellent!

Only $15.99! Get them here.

 

 

Lip Balm Making Kit

 

I love getting gifts for my stepkids that involve making/creating something. If it’s educational, fun, and your kid ends up with a cool and useful product out of it, it’s perfect in my book. Which is why I love this lip balm kit. You can make it together, or she can make it with her friends, and she will use it! What’s not to love?

Only $14.95! Get it here.

 

 

Pizza Bean Bag Chair

Bean bag chairs are just cool. This pizza bean bag chair trumps the rest. It looks so cheesy I want to eat it, and so cozy, I want to nap in it. It’s perfect to add a little bit of uniqueness to your gal’s bedroom decor.

Only $89.86! Get it here.

 

 

Cute Portable Power Bank

Power banks are useful, but generally kind of boring to kids. However, this super cute kitty one is sure to please your little lady. It’s fun, colorful, and useful.

Only $22.99! Get it here.

 

 

Drawing Art Set

 

Miss P is really into art right now, as I know so many tween girls are. I happen to be an art lover, and she uses a lot of my supplies in her creations. The thing is, she really wants her own supplies, like most independent little gals out there. Royal and Langnickel makes excellent art sets. This is great for the girl who loves to draw. It includes an easel and all necessary supplies, and everything folds up together so it’s a cinch to tote around.

If she prefers painting over drawing, skip ahead…

Only $49.08! Get it here.

 

 

Painting Art Set

 

For your girl who wants to paint, skip the drawing set and grab her an acrylic set. This has the easel, paints, brushes, and other necessary supplies, and it all folds together, so again, it’s completely portable.

Only $41.15! Get it here.

 

 

Teens Cook Cookbook

 

 

This is a perfect gift for a picky eater. It includes over 75 recipes, and is written BY teens FOR teens. It’ll help your girl maneuver the complications of the kitchen without setting the house on fire!

Only $14.64 ! Get it here.

 

 

Lily’s Mountain by Hannah Moderow

 

 

For the ladies that like to read, this adventure story follows Lily, a young lady whose father disappears while climbing Denali (the highest peak in North America). Instead of grieving like everyone else, Lily decides that her father is alive, and sets off to rescue him. This novel just came out in November, and your adventurous girl is sure to love it.

Only $8.74! Get it here.

 

 

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

 

 

Speaking of reading, there is another book that just came out that you’ll want to get for your tween. Nevermoor is the first book in a new series that apparently has a Harry Potter feel to it. The story centers around a young girl who escapes death and is thrust into a magical world of adventure. Your tween is sure to love it!

Only $9.88! Get it here.

 

 

Felt Letterboard

 

 

This letter board is a fun piece of decor to add to your kid’s room. They can customize the message, and they will love all the symbols that come with.

Only $22.95! Get it here.

 

 

Waterproof Bluetooth Shower Speaker

 

 

Who doesn’t want to sing in the shower? The acoustics are just phenomenal. Give your little gal this speaker so she can rock out with Taylor Swift while rinsing and repeating.

Only $19.99! Get it here.

 

 

Ocean Wave Light Projector w/ Music

 

 

This is a perfect bedside lamp for your tween. It changes to seven different colors, and has a built-in mini speaker so your gal can listen to music or have the sounds of the ocean put her to sleep. Plus it projects water-like artistic, soothing waves of light all over the walls and ceilings.

Only $24.99! Get it here.

 

 

There you have it Broads! A fabulous list of ideas for your teenybopper that’s sure to please on Christmas morning. So get out there and get shopping!

 

Toodles!

 

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 



How to Make an Awesome Candy Cane Decoration On the Cheap!

Wrapping paper rolls- the swords of our childhood and the annoying long objects in our waste bins as adults.  (or maybe still swords… I don’t judge!).  As Christmas inches closer and closer, and money gets tighter and tighter, gigantic candy-canes are just what you didn’t know you needed!  Not only are they super easy and affordable to D.I.Y., they’re adorable additions to your Christmas-scapes, office decorations or even outdoor ornaments (if you live in a place where snow and rain don’t plague you during the winter).

 

One of my favorite things about these little-big guys is the fact that, during the holidays, I have literally every item I need in my house to make them.  I would be willing to bet that you do too!  The items you will need to create your own candy-canes are:

 

-Cardboard wrapping paper, paper towel and/or toilet paper rolls

-Red and white wire-lined ribbon

*if you don’t have ribbon or the time to hit up your local craft store, you can always use wrapping paper, acrylic paint, markers or anything you have on hand to decorate the canes to your liking

-Scissors

-Tape

*any kind of tape will do here; Duct, masking, Scotch, packing… Seriously, any kind.

 

 

 

 

To start, gather up your materials and get those rolls ready.  Because I had them on hand, I used wrapping paper rolls, but seriously, any kind of cardboard rolls will work just as long as you can cut them with your scissors. Plus… RECYCLING!

Now that you have your rolls all gathered, it’s time to cut some rings from those babies! This doesn’t have to be technical or measured or clean or neat.  I promised this would be an easy craft and to me, rulers or tape measures equal math, and math equals NOPE!  Nope is not easy in my book.

 

 

 

 

As you can see I wrote 1-1 & 1/2 inches on the roll… I was wrong and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I honestly don’t even know if those hash marks are an inch or an inch-and-a-half apart and really, you want rings of all different heights.  It makes forming the “hook” of your cane easier!

 

 

 

 

Snip snip, cut out those rings!  You’ll need between four and eight for each cane depending on their size.  I dedicated half of a wrapping paper roll to my rings, but if you find that you don’t have enough, (or too many) give it a few days… we all run out of TP at some point in the week!

Check out those awesome rings!  As you can see, they’re all different heights! And for those of you wondering… I made these at work… My desk wasn’t cleaned for this tutorial because this is what my desk looks like at any given moment and if someone tells you theirs isn’t, they’re lying.

 

 

 

 

Ok… back to those candy-canes!

We have our rings and now the hardest part of the whole project… making those suckers malleable enough to bend into your “hook”.  To do this, you’re going to take your trusty scissors and start cutting strips just about halfway up your rings.  Go all around those babies until you have something that looks like….

 

 

 

 

This will probably take you some time, so put on a good holiday movie or click on this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_StgHl92v5Q) … Here you can watch my personal hero, Nick Offerman, drink scotch in front of a fireplace for ten uninterrupted hours.  (It won’t take you this long to make your canes, but if you’re making a lot of them, Nick will keep you company for a good portion of your crafting time.  Plus, he’s gorgeous!)

 

 

 

 

You’re going to take your roll and your rings and lay them out to get an idea of how your cane is going to look.  Don’t worry about shoving your rings together, without tape, it’s nearly impossible to get them to stay.  This just helps you allocate your rings and form that trademark “hook”!

 

 

 

 

Now it’s really time to start constructing!

Because I was at work, and it was the only tape available, I used plain old clear tape.  (If you plan on using clear tape, you may want an extra roll or two of it handy, just to make sure you have enough). Slip that ring on your roll and get-to-taping

 

 

 

 

As you progress in your “hook” shaping and taping, you will want to make sure you align your rings so they gradually turn downward.  This is where I found myself utilizing my tape supply.  You really want to make sure those babies are taped down or you will find yourself “hook-less” when you go to wrap your canes.  The finished product should look something like the picture below…

 

 

 

 

You can see how those little cuts in the rings were really worth the time.  Notice all that tape too!  After connecting the rings, I went back over them and added more tape.  Once I had reinforced the “hook” I added EVEN MORE tape (Nick looks pretty impressed!).

 

 

 

 

After the time I spent cutting the rings, I wasn’t going to take any chances in those suckers falling apart.  Reinforcing the “hook” will make your candy-canes last more than just one holiday season as well!

It took me about 15 minutes to construct the three canes below (not including the monotonous ring-cutting).  I used two wrapping paper rolls, cut in half, and about half of the third roll that was used to make the rings.

 

 

 

 

Now, it’s time to wrap those babies up in your ribbon!  This jumbo ribbon came from Michael’s and was a whopping 70% off with an in-store coupon.  The single roll pictured below cost around $1.25. I used it to make six canes and still had some leftover!

 

 

 

 

To begin wrapping, I started just below the “hook”.  I taped the end of the ribbon and wrapped, and wrapped, and wrapped some more until I reached the bottom of the candy-cane!

 

 

 

 

Now that the majority of your cane is wrapped, it’s time to move on to the “hook”.  I found this was the most tricky part of the entire operation.  Wrapping something flat and relatively straight on to something the complete opposite is difficult. Don’t get frustrated if it takes a couple of times to get it how you want it!  You still have Nick and his cozy fire keeping you company, right?!

 

 

 

 

Just as you did with the other end, you’re going to “tuck in” that extra ribbon and, if you want, reinforce it with tape.

 

And that, my friends, is it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

**We love to hear from our readers! If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

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Six Easy and Creative Ideas For Thanksgiving Leftovers

 

 

Hello Broads! Now that we have all risen from our holiday-induced food comas, we have to address the pounds and pounds of leftovers free-riding in the kitchen.

 



 

What to do? Sure, today you’re eating turkey sammiches with cranberry sauce and cream cheese, but isn’t there more? What else can you concoct with these marvelous heaping piles of left-behinds?

The following are six of my favorite unique ideas for your leftovers that will be as good, if not better, than the original feast!

 

 

Eggnog French Toast Casserole with Cranberry Compote

 

 

 

This works best if bread is slightly dry or stale for maximum absorption. You can leave bread out overnight. If you forget, no biggie.

 

Casserole Ingredients:

4 large eggs

4 cups eggnog

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

8 large slices slightly stale bread

 

Compote Ingredients:

2 cups cranberry sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup wine

 

Instructions:

Grease a 9 by 12 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange 8 pieces of bread in dish, slightly overlapping each other.

Whisk together first six ingredients until well blended. Pour over bread, coating evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Leave dish covered with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

 

For cranberry compote:

In medium saucepan, combine leftover cranberry sauce, vanilla, brown sugar, and wine (red or white, or even the stale champagne leftover from last night). Bring to boil. Turn heat down and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until thickened up.

Serve 2 pieces french toast topped with 1/2 cup cranberry compote. Drizzle with pure maple syrup.

 

 

Breakfast Stuffing Hash

 

 

Breakfast hashes are great ways to use up leftovers from lots of different types of meals. A day-after-thanksgiving hash is one of the best! You will make this part of your yearly tradition after trying it once.

 

Ingredients:

6 slices bacon, diced

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced

2 cups frozen diced potatoes

1 cup stuffing

1 cup diced turkey

1 cup shredded cheese

 

Instructions:

In a large heavy cast iron skillet, saute diced bacon over medium heat, until slightly crisp. Remove to paper towel to drain.

Melt butter in bacon grease. Toss in diced onions and frozen potatoes, and cook until potatoes are golden brown and onions are translucent, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Return bacon to pan, and mix in stuffing and diced turkey. Cook until everything is heated through. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Serve topped with an over-easy or over-medium fried egg.

 

 

Mashed Potato Bowls:

 

 

I love mashed potato bowls! Something about the layers of amazing leftovers mixing together, so you get a bit of each in every bite, is just perfect and comforting. These one-dish-wonders are easy and forgiving, and you can put pretty much anything you want in them. Here’s my favorite way to have them:

 

Ingredients:

Mashed potatoes

Stuffing

Turkey, shredded or diced

Green beans

Gravy

Shredded cheese

 

Instructions:

Layer ingredients in order in a microwave safe bowl. I usually put about even amounts of each (with extra gravy, of course), but adjust according to your taste. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Bon appetit!

 

 

Turkey Pot Pie:

 

 

Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, taught me how to make fantastic turkey pot pie. I add a few of my own little twists, but credit goes to Ree for the basis of this deliciousness.

 

Ingredients:

2 frozen pie crust sheets

2 cups chopped turkey

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced carrot

splash of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup frozen peas

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Instructions:

I try keep pre-made pie crust sheets and frozen peas in my freezer, which makes this dish a cinch.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Melt a stick of butter in a deep skillet on medium heat. Add diced onion, celery, and carrot. Stir in a splash of Worcestershire sauce and paprika (i like to use Smoked Spanish paprika). Saute until veggies become slightly translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

While veggies are sauteing, coat your 8 or 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray, and press a pie crust sheet into it.

Add roughly chopped leftover turkey to veggies and let warm up for about a minute. Then mix in flour. You want to get the starchy taste out of the flour, so let mixture simmer for about 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in low sodium chicken broth, heavy cream, and frozen peas. Allow to come to a soft boil, stirring frequently so cream doesn’t scorch. When it has thickened up, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. Top with another sheet of pie crust. Trim both about 1/2 inch wider than the pie pan, and crimp bottom and top crusts together by pressing with a fork. Make four small slits in center to allow steam out.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.

 

 

Fancy Turkey Salad

 

 

This is such a versatile salad! You can eat it alone, on bread, in a wrap, or over a couple of cups of greens. The Greek yogurt keeps the base healthier and less fatty, but the mayonnaise retains a needed creaminess. This beats plain old turkey on rye!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups diced leftover turkey

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 sticks celery, diced

1 medium apple, diced

1/2 cup finely sliced green onion

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/2 cup raisins, lettuce, 1/4 cup cranberry sauce

 

Instructions:

Combine turkey, almonds, celery, apple and green onion in large bowl and stir until combined.

Mix Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, dried mustard, salt and pepper in smaller bowl. Stir very well, then add to larger bowl with turkey. Toss everything together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to marry, if possible.

I like to spread cranberry sauce over two slices of bread, add a piece of lettuce and about 2/3 cups of turkey salad and enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

 

 

Pie milkshakes are a stroke of genius. Whoever the hell thought of stuffing a piece of pie into a blender with ice cream was a hero. They probably rescued children from burning houses and kittens from trees on the daily.

This milkshake is nothing short of decadent! One piece of pie make 2 milkshakes. Just in case you need another!

 

Ingredients:

1 piece of pumpkin pie (1/8 of the pie)

2 cups vanilla ice cream

1 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Whipped cream and nutmeg for garnish

 

Instructions:

Add all ingredients except whipped cream garnish nutmeg into blender. Cover and blend on medium speed until there are no chunks left. Pour into two glasses. Top with whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg and enjoy!

 

 

There you have it! My top favorite recipes to create with the stacks of leftovers from Thanksgiving.

Now you won’t get sick of turkey sammiches and just end up throwing away all those leftovers. Waste not want not, they say!

In fact, after trying each of these, I bet you’ll start looking forward to the days after Thanksgiving just as much as the actual day!

 

Happy Holidays Broads! Now get those Christmas trees up!

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 



2017 Gift Guide for Manly Men: 30 of the Most Unique Gifts for Men

 

 

Can you believe Christmas is less than 6 weeks away? Whaaaaat??? The music has already started playing in the grocery and department stores, and we haven’t even enjoyed our Thanksgiving holiday yet. It’s nuts, I tell you!

Without a doubt, the most difficult person in my life to get gifts for is Mr. Og. He never wants anything specific, and he always says, “I just don’t NEED anything.” Or he suggests things like socks, boxer briefs, and of course, a pair of Jordan’s. Every year.



It takes a lot to think of great gifts that will blow his mind. Sometimes I succeed, and other times I fail miserably. It has become quite the yearly challenge in our household.

I imagine many of you Broads feel the same way about trying to think of great gifts for your man. So I’m gonna help you out, and suggest some amazing and unique gifts for him. These range in price from just a few dollars to a significant investment. You are sure to find something that fits your budget and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, that will absolutely knock the socks off your mister!

 

NOTE: This post may contain referral and/or affiliate links, so I make a commission from some of them. However, I promise I will NEVER recommend a product unless I have personally tried it or have done research and would purchase it myself. I will also remove anything from my blog that is unsatisfactory for any reason, so please contact me if you encounter a problem or issue with any product I recommend.

That said, without further adieu, let’s dive in right in!

 

1. Viking Drinking Horn

 

 

 

This is an amazing gift for a manly man. I mean, does it get more manly than Vikings???

What’s great is that this is made from 100% natural buffalo horn, and it’s been polished and sealed to keep it gorgeous and to prevent leaks. It can hold a pint of beer, and it also comes with a lovely stand for displaying.

It’s $41.99. Get it here: Natural Style Viking Drinking Horn with stand – Authentic Medieval Inspired Mug (16 oz) by Valhalla Drinkware

 

 

2. Stuff Every Man Should Know by Brett Cohen

 

 

 

I got this little book for Mr. Og as a stocking stuffer a couple of years ago. It’s great! It’s a perfect bathroom reader, and it’s not just a joke, either.

The information contained in this tiny book is actually valuable. For example, it’ll tell your guy how to cast a fishing rod, get a raise, make a perfect martini, give a great massage and more!

It’s also only $8.99! Whoop whoop! Get it here: Stuff Every Man Should Know (Stuff You Should Know)

 

 

3. A wallet with RFID blocking for extra security

 

 

Every guy needs a wallet. It’s just one of those things that wears out and needs to be replaced every year or two.

Nowadays, you can get men’s wallets with RFID blocking so assholes can’t steal your credit or debit card information. This wallet is great because it not only has the extra security, but it also has a fantastic minimalist design with a striking blue finish. It includes a money clip too!

Extra props for being under $20, at only $15.99!! Get it here: Travelambo Front Pocket Wallet Minimalist Wallets Leather Slim Wallet Money Clip RFID Blocking(carbon fiber texture blue)

 

 

4. LG Urbane Smart Watch

These next three suggestions are all types of watches, but each is unique for certain types of guys.

For the tech lover who also likes classy looking accessories, this first one is perfect! We’ve seen Apple watches. They are wicked convenient and all, but hella ugly!

This LG Smart Watch is Android compatible, it has amazing features, and is also so pretty! It has environmental biosensors, full fitness integration, music streaming, and is water-resistant.

Plus, you can get it for under $200! Buy it here: LG Watch Urbane Wearable Smart Watch – Pink Gold

 

If you want a classy and trendy watch, but don’t want to spend a couple hundred dollars, check this out….

 

 

5. Wood Watch

 

 

 

These wood watches are a new trend, and Mr. Og is totally digging them. I have to say, they are just gorgeous!

Bewell makes a great quality wood watch, from natural material. It is non-toxic and hypo-allergenic. The hands are luminized as well, so you can still see the time in the dark. It also has a 36 month battery life, and is water resistant to 30 meters.

You seriously can’t beat the funky retro style either! He’ll love it! This is much less expensive than most nice looking watches.

It’s a great price at only $27.98. Get it here: Bewell W086B Mens Wooden Watch Analog Quartz Lightweight Handmade Wood Wrist Watch (Zebra Wood)

 

If your guy wants to have a time piece, but doesn’t want to wear it on his wrist, enter my next suggestion…

 

 

6. Zeiger Classic Mechanical Steampunk Pocket Watch

 

 

Who doesn’t like pocket watches? They are super classy and fun statement pieces!

This one is exquisite, with a gorgeous steampunk design and a black tone. To top it off, the surface is scratch resistant, and it features classic roman numerals. It’s also super affordable. He will feel classy and modern all at once!

Only $16.19! Find it here: Zeiger New Mens Classic Mechanical Steampunk Pocket Watch, Stainless Steel Copper Case Skeleton Roman Design, Pocket Watch With Chain (Black 2)

 

 

 7. Bear Paws Shredder Claws

 

 

 

 

Pretty much every manly man loves to BBQ meat. But who ends up shredding that beautiful brisket or pork roast for yummy sliders? Yea, in my house, it’s me.

With these super studly bear claws, you’ll never be given the meat shredding responsibility again. What guy doesn’t want to use these babies to shred up their perfectly cooked meat? I mean, it’s just another excuse for him to play with his food.

A steal at only $12.95! Get them here: The Original Bear Paws Shredder Claws – Easily Lift, Handle, Shred, and Cut Meats – Essential for BBQ Pros – Ultra-Sharp Blades and Heat Resistant Nylon

 

 

8. Beard Care Kit

 

 

For men with beards, a beard kit is the perfect gift. This one by QQ Wow is fabulous because it’s affordable, it includes beard oil, balm, and a quality wooden comb, and it all comes packed in a nice little reusable tin. So easy for traveling!

Only $17.99 to boot! Find it here: QQwow Beard Kit Best for Mens Grooming and Beard Care,Elegant Gift Set Includes Beard Oil 60ml,Beard Balm 2.82oz,Wooden Comb, 100% Natural Ingredients, Leave-in Conditioner and Softener

 

If you don’t want to get him a beard care kit, at least grab him a quality bottle of beard oil. My very favorite is:

 

 

9. Topher’s Beard Oil

 

 

 

 

This beard oil is the shit! It smells absolutely incredible and instantly makes me want to jump Mr. Og’s bones! It also helps your guy’s beard to grow in thicker and healthier. Mr. Og’s beard is SO soft when he puts his Topher’s on! I’m in love with this stuff!

You only need a couple of drops–it goes a LONG way. Mr. Og can make this bottle last for almost 6 months.

Oh the smell! There are a ton of scents you can choose from. I’ve smelled four of them: Drunken Pirate, Whiskey & Woodsmoke, Sandalwood & Cedar, and Spiced Tobacco. I gotta say, my favorite is Spiced tobacco, but really, you can’t go wrong with any of them. They are all amazing!

It’s only $21.90!  Find it here: https://www.tophersbeardco.com/store/c3/Beard_Oils.html

 

 

10. Liquor Decanter Set

 

 

Most guys have a liquor of choice that they love to enjoy when their buddies come over, or by themselves in the evening after a hard day at work. Why not make the experience even finer for him with this stunning decanter set? It’s not only the coolest decanter ever, a 28 ounce globe with etched glass, but it’s also a work of art.

Each decanter is hand blown, with a custom designed ship on the inside. This kit also includes a wood base, two etched drinking glasses, eight stainless steel whiskey stones, a pair of tongs, a metal pour funnel, and a glass stopper! It’s a fantastic conversation piece, and I’m willing to bet it will even make his scotch taste smoother!

This is surprisingly affordable for only $ 59.99! Buy it here: Whiskey Decanter Set World Etched Globe Decanter Antique Ship Glasses Tongs Bar Funnel Stopper Liquor Dispenser Spirits Scotch Bourbon Vodka Rum Wine Tequila Brandy Perfect Gift 850 ml

 

 

 

11. Xbox One X

 

 

 

Mr. OG likes to have the newest gaming console he can get. This year it’s the XBOX One X.

This puppy is loaded. You get a fully immersive 4K gaming experience with premium Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Audio, so he’ll feel like he’s ACTUALLY in the game. Plus it’s compatible with all things XBox One, so his old accessories and games will still work! You will love it too, because you can stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and so much more in that quality 4K!

It’s the most expensive item on our list at $499, but totally worth it! Buy it here: Xbox One X 1TB Console

 

 

12. Call of Duty World War 2

 

 

 

 

If you get him the Xbox One X, you definitely need to get him the coolest new game for it, which is Call of Duty WWII! It just came out this month and it’s amazing. I’ve seen it played and the graphics are stunning! It still holds true to the COD we all love, too!

If you can’t afford to get the new gaming console, just pick him up this game, and he will love you forever!

Typical game price is $59.99. Get it here: Call of Duty: WWII – Xbox One Standard Edition

 

 

13.  Cologne Sampler

 

 

 

I’ve gifted this to many people over the years because it’s just so great! You know when you can’t decide what cologne or perfume you want? Don’t you wish you could try each kind for a day or two to see how you REALLY like it?

Enter Sephora’s solution: the cologne sampler (they also have a perfume sampler for women). The samples come in a nice classic travel bag, and you get 12 of the most popular men’s fragrances. The best part is that it comes with a certificate for a FULL-SIZED BOTTLE of the fragrance he likes best! This can be redeemed at any Sephora store in the U.S.

It’s only $65, and you can be sure it’s a scent he will love, because he will pick it out himself! Get it here: https://www.sephora.com/product/cologne-sampler-P423555?skuId=1961846&icid2=products%20grid:p423555 

 

 

14. Jerky of the Month Club

 

 

 

Every guy loves meat, and jerky counts! There are quite few monthly jerky clubs out there, but not all are created equal.

My favorite is Jerky Snob. There is no MSG, no nitrates, and no high fructose corn syrup, so you’re guy will still be healthy! Plus, they have a variety of different flavors that he’s sure to love!

At only $15 (that doesn’t include S & H) it’s a steal! Join here: https://www.cratejoy.com/subscription-box/jerky-snob/?irgwc=1&clickid=wXwyg23uxSjBxK4QXdXrnzFGUkmR1dTtzUhd0U0&utm_medium=AFF&utm_source=IR&utm_basket=Skimbit%20Ltd.&utm_carton=ONLINE_TRACKING_LINK&utm_egg=Online%20Tracking%20Link

 

 

15. Anti-Aging Kit

 

 

This may sound like a weird one, but check this: I’m 33 now, and therefore have been changing up my skincare routine A LOT. Mr. OG has gotten to hear about it many times.

One day he said he wanted to get himself a lotion for his face. It was the first time he’d ever expressed interest in skin care. But with us getting older, it’s something that has been on his mind.

Your guy will likely never go get himself anti-aging products, which is why this is such a great gift. It’ll get him on a great skincare routine without him feeling goofy about it.

This kit by Brickell is very well-reviewed, and it’s simple, just two products. First is the Revitalizing Anti Aging Cream, that firms and smooths his skin, and second is the Restoring Eye Cream that reduces puffiness & dark circles. Both work to smooth fine lines and wrinkles as well. Because it’s so simple, it shouldn’t be too hard for him to implement these into his morning or evening routine.

You can get it for $80, right here: Brickell Men’s Ultimate Anti-Aging Routine – Anti-Wrinkle Night Face Cream and Eye Cream to Reduce Puffiness, Wrinkles, Dark Circles, & Under Eye Bags – Natural & Organic

 

 

 

16. Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit

 

 

At this point you may be starting to realize that I LOVE kits. This one is especially great because it involves your guy creating something of his own, which is half the fun! Almost every man loves a good hot sauce. This kit has excellent reviews on Amazon. It includes your ingredients for the sauce, as wells as  three bottles with lids and dashers, three fully customizable labels, a funnel, a pair of gloves, sanitizer, and a booklet with recipes and instructions. The whole shebang!

It’s also only $29.95. Get it here: Grow and Make: Artisan DIY Gourmet Hot Sauce Kit, Makes 3 Unique Sauces

 

Is your guy not into spicy? Try this instead:

 

 

17. Make Your Own BBQ Sauce Kit

 

 

This is a great option for those gents who just don’t enjoy spiciness in their food. BBQ sauce is great as a marinade, or a dipping sauce. It’s Mr. Og’s very favorite.

With this kit you can make three different types of BBQ sauce. He will also still get that nice feeling of being able to enjoy something he made himself. All of the ingredients and supplies are included, so you don’t need to worry about anything missing, or having to gather extra ingredients. He’ll love it!

It’s also only $39.95! You can find it here: Artisan DIY BBQ Sauce Making Kit by Grow and Make – Create 3 Barbecue Sauce Recipes at Home

 

 

18. Lifestraw Personal Water Filter

 

 

 

This thing is rad! There are so many situations where it can be useful.

You can take it camping, hiking, anywhere you travel, or you can put it into an emergency kit. It’s fantastic because it can really suck (oh the puns!) to have to carry around water. Water is heavy! So on that hiking trip, ditch the jugs and bring along your Lifestraw.

This baby can filter up to 1,000 liters of water. It doesn’t take batteries, and it surpasses EPA filter standards. It’s also only 9 inches long, so you can easily fit it pretty much anywhere. Your guy will love this tool!

It’s only $19.90! Buy it here: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness\

 

 

19. Cyber Cleaning Putty

 

 

Cyber Cleaning Putting rocks! It’s a perfect little gift for a guy who loves his tech gadgets, and also is a bit of a clean freak (not mentioning any names, Mr. Og).  It works on almost any electronic gadget to get all that dust and gunk that even those aerosol cleaning duster cans leave behind.

You can use it on keyboards, phones, cameras, calculators, portable speakers, the back of your computer, the mouse, and any other electronic equipment you can think of. Even better, it can be used on kitchen appliances, remote controls, window sills, fans, brief cases, watches, jewelry, and so much more. It also has a nice fresh lemony clean smell to it.  It may not be the most exciting gift, but I guarantee it will be one he uses all the time!

It doesn’t break the bank either at only $9.98. Get it here: Cyber Clean 25055 Home & Office Pop-up Cup – 5.11 oz. (145g)

 

 

20. Personalized White Oak Aging Barrel

 

 

What guy isn’t going to love his own personalized whiskey (or whatever spirit he likes) barrel? It looks wicked cool and will be one of his favorite pieces to expand his bar collection.

This barrel is two liters, and you can use it to age whiskey, beer, wine, tequila, rum, and even things like vinegar or honey. You can also have it engraved with your man’s name or nickname as well, making it completely his own–one of a kind.

It’s not only useful, but it’s a great conversation starter and a true work of art.

It’s also only $59.95! Buy it here: Personalized – Customized American White Oak Aging Barrel – Barrel Aged (2 Liters, Black Hoops)

 

 

21. BROUK & CO Leather Golf Flask

 

 

 

For your guy who loves to golf, this is one of the most unique and super cool gifts I’ve found.

Mr. Og loves to golf, but after a couple of years of Christmases, birthdays, and anniversaries, he pretty much has everything under the sun he could possibly need for the sport. Enter this little guy. It’s not only extremely well-made, but it also looks super sleek!

It hold 8 ounces of his favorite liquor, and some golf tools: 2 removable markers, 4 wooden tees, and a divot tool. As if that weren’t awesome enough, it also conveniently clips right to his golf bag!

Totally worth it for $38.62! Get it here: BROUK & CO. 2155 The Teed Up Stainless Steel Flask Set in Black Genuine Leather Case with Golf Bag Clip, 8 oz., Silver

 

 

22. Stadium Art Print

 

 

For your sport lover, why not get him a killer piece of art for his man cave (or man corner)?

This is an awesome print of Mr. Og’s favorite team stadium, the Century Link field where the Seattle Seahawks play. You can find just about any stadium your guy will like, whether it’s football, baseball, college, or the big leagues. Check Amazon. They have aerial photos, blueprint styles, drawings, paintings and more!

This print is only $29.95, so you can afford a nice frame for it, too! Get it here: Seattle Seahawks CenturyLink Field Blueprint Art Gift

 

 

23. Bottle Loft

 

 

I love this gift so much because it’s a space saver! It comes with two VERY strong magnetic strips that you can hang a six pack of beer bottles from.

It’s super easy to install, and you will love the extra space it frees up for you in the fridge. Plus, it’s just cool looking, am I right? He will appreciate the simplicity but total coolness of this little gem of a gift!

It’s only $29.99. Find it here: BottleLoft by Strong Like Bull Magnets, the original Magnetic Bottle Hanger, 2 Strip Pack (holds 6 bottles)

 

 

24. Magnetic Wristband

 

 

This wristband is super awesome for your mister! There’s always something to hammer, nail, hang, straighten, or whatever in your house. Out comes Mr. Handyman with thirteen nails stuck in his mouth. Inevitably, he swallows one and drops the other twelve.

Not anymore! The Magnetic Wristband by Magnogrip is great for those projects. Your guy can stick the nails right onto the wristband, and they aren’t going anywhere! No choking hazard, and no stepping on a nail three months later. Everybody wins!

You can get it for only $14.65. Buy here: MagnoGrip 311-090 Magnetic Wristband

 

 

25. Folding Compact Workbench

 

 

Portable gifts are just great! Your guy can easily unfold this workbench anywhere he needs to do some real work. By the kitchen sink, or the washer, in the back yard, or in the garage.

He can also take it with him if he has a project that needs to be done away from home. He will love how easy it is to fold and carry.

It holds up to 1000 pounds, and has two 12 inch clamps. Here are the dimensions:  (W X D X H): 85.0 X 55.0 X 75.5cms. This will be a guaranteed winner!

It’s super affordable at $70.17! Get it here: Keter Folding Compact Workbench Sawhorse Work Table with Clamps 1000 lb Capacity

 

 

26. The Godfather on Blu-Ray

 

 

 

Every guy should own this series by Francis Ford Coppola. It doesn’t get much more classic than this!

Give him the chance to watch the rise and fall of the Corleone family. This is packed with amazing actors: Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando. It was also nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning three of them, including the highly coveted Best Picture.

He will cherish this masterpiece forever!

It’s only $31.99 for the whole set on blu-ray! Get it here: The Godfather Collection (The Coppola Restoration) [Blu-ray]

 

 

27. Grilled Cheese Bags

 

 

Sure, this may seem like a simple, cheap, cheesy gift, and that’s because it IS (pun TOTALLY intended).

These bags are awesome! They make a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich, and he doesn’t have to pull out pans, spatulas, wash dishes, and all that jazz. He can easily slip his bread and cheese into the bag and throw it right into the toaster! Best of all, you don’t get stuck with the cleanup.

This is also great for bachelors and college students, or for when you are out of town and your mister has to fend for himself. It’s a set of three, and they are disposable, so he can just toss them when done!

They are only $6.49. Get them here: RL Treats Non Stick Reusable Toaster Bags for Sandwich and Grilling, Pack of 3

 

 

28. Echo Show

 

 

 

A lot of guys have received the Echo or the Echo Dot in the last couple of years. I’m pretty sure Mr. Og considers Alexa his mistress. He loves her.

Now you can impress your guy even MORE with the Echo Show. This has everything you already love about Alexa, but it adds video! You can make calls, connect it to security cameras and baby monitors, watch music videos or cooking tutorials (while cooking), look at photos, and more, all hands free!

It also has Dolby processing, extended bass response, eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation for excellent audio quality and response. The one thing I’ve always thought was missing from Alexa was the visual component, and now it’s here. Believe me, he will love love LOVE this!

It’s decently priced at $229.99. Get it here: Echo Show – Black

 

 

29. Beard Shaving Bib

 

 

 

Honestly, this looks like it’s for him, but it’s kind of for YOU.

Mr. Og always leaves hair everywhere when he shaves or trims his hair. Try as he may, there’s always little bits of hair in the sink, in cracks, on the floor. It’s everywhere! Not anymore with this beard shaving bib.

It fits around his neck like the typical aprons you wear to get your hair cut. But the ends suction to the mirror, so it catches all the hair, and makes disposal a cinch!

This comes with a free stainless steel beard shaping tool, a beard catcher mat and a travel bag. No more hair all over the bathroom!

It’s also only $13.97! Find it here: KING POSEIDON Beard Shaving Bib Apron Beard Catcher With Stainless Steel Beard Shaping Tool Comb, Hair Clippings Cape For Shaving, Premium Grooming Kit For Men, Black

 

And finally, last but certainly not least……..

 

 

30. Full-Size Kegorator

 

 

Ladies, this is guaranteed to make him a happy man! What guy doesn’t want to be able to drink fresh poured draft beer in the comfort of his own home? What girls doesn’t want that either, for that matter?

This is especially great for fellas that like to home brew. The specs are impressive: It has a 5.1 cubic foot capacity, a double meter regulator, a 2.5 pound CO2 tank, a removable drip tray, an adjustable thermostat, a double tap system and more!

It’s a great gift for enjoying a beer after work, or for hosting a party and serving some home brew to all your friends. They will be impressed, and he will love it, I promise you that!

It’s totally worth the investment at $379.78! Buy it here: Nostalgia KRS2100 5.1 Cubic-Foot Full Size Kegorator Draft Beer Dispenser

 

So there you have it! Thirty of the best gifts you can get for that manly man in your life. Stay tuned for more gift guides in the coming weeks!

 

Share this list with your friends so they can impress their manly friends this holiday season, too!

 

Cheers!

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

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Where in the Bloody Hell Did Halloween Come From?

 

Tomorrow, people all over the nation and the world will disguise themselves and walk around their neighborhoods begging strangers for candy. Seems legit.

I was raised in a very religious household, and never celebrated Halloween growing up. It makes me wonder where this bizarre holiday and its traditions came from, and how it became what it is today.



I did some research, and I have to say, it was fascinating. I decided to be a doll and share the most interesting points in a post, in honor of the holiday. Happy Halloween!

 

Origins

Like most holidays, the origins of Halloween are rooted in pagan customs. It seems that Halloween began in Celtic Ireland some 2,000 years ago. Back then, it was not called Halloween, it was called Samhain, which means November, or summer’s end. The Celts had four major festivals each year, and Samhain was their autumn festival.

 

 

One thing that makes the Celtic calendar much different from ours is that the Celts believed that days and years began in darkness and transitioned into lightness.

This is why their new year began in the winter. It began in the darker months, and progressed lighter into spring and summer. So November 1 is the Celtic New Year. Celebrations began at sunset the night before, which is October 31.

The Celts were very cautious of transitions, believing that during these times the normal laws of the universe did not apply. The World Book Encyclopedia states: “The Celts believed that the dead could walk among the living…During Samhain, the living could visit with the dead.”

With November 1 marking the New Year, the Celts thought the transition between the old year and the New Year opened the boundaries of the “Otherworld.” Spirit creatures would be able to roam the earth freely during this transition.

 

Influences on Samhain

When the Romans conquered most of the Celtic lands, they began to bring some of their traditions into the mix. There are two major Roman festivals that were eventually incorporated into Samhain.

The first was the festival of Feralia, which was near the end of October. This festival honored the passing of the dead. The second was the festival to Pomona, the god of fruit and trees.

 

 

The apple was the symbol of Pomona. Interestingly, since the Irish festival of Samhain marked the end of the harvest, apples were already a big part of that. In fact, it was required that all of the apples had to be picked before the festivities of Samhain could begin on the night of October 31. So it made sense for the conquering Romans to elevate apples into the festival.

Despite Roman opposition, even after they were conquered, the Celts kept celebrating Samhain. In the 7th century, Pope Gregory III declared that November 1 would be All Saints Day, or all Hallows Day. Previously All Saints Day had been in May. This move was likely to merge Christian and pagan beliefs, thus converting more pagans to Christianity.

The evening before became All Hallows Eve, which eventually came to be called Halloween.

 

How Common Traditions Began

There are so many interesting traditions associated with Halloween, and let me tell you, their origins are not boring. I picked out four of the best (in my humble opinion) Halloween traditions, and found out how they began.

 

Costumes:

As I mentioned, it was believed by the Celts that spirit creatures could roam freely on Samhain. Some people even left their doors opened and placed food out for the spirits of their loved ones to welcome them home.

 

 

However, it was also thought that some of these spirits were looking for bodies to inhabit, or wanted to harm people they were angry at in their lives on earth.

To protect themselves, the Celts disguised themselves in various costumes, their version of demons, often incorporating animal heads. The purpose was to confuse the evil spirits, and trick them into thinking the humans were also demons. It was a defense mechanism to protect the living.

As time passed and Christianity began to exert more influence over the holiday, the Catholic Church encouraged dressing up as angels, saints, and other heavenly creatures. Eventually, it became acceptable to dress up as anything you wanted, as long as it was a disguise.

 

Jack O’ Lanterns:

I’ve always wondered why we carve strange faces into pumpkins in the days approaching October 31. Again, this tradition is rooted in Irish history.

 

 

The Celts had a myth about a man called Stingy Jack. He was a blacksmith and a drunk, and one night he ran into the Devil in a pub.

He invited the Devil for a drink. However, being “stingy,” he did not want to pay for his drink. He managed to convince the Devil to turn himself into a coin to pay for their drinks, in exchange for Jack’s soul.

 

 

However, when the Devil complied, Jack changed his mind and pocketed the coin. Jack had a silver cross in his pocket next to the coin, which prevented the Devil from freeing himself. He only agreed to set the Devil free on the promise that the Devil would leave him and his soul alone for 10 years. The Devil complied.

After the passing of 10 years, Jack again encountered the Devil, this time on a country road. The Devil was eager to claim what was owed to him. However, Jack ended up tricking the Devil again, convincing him to climb a tree to grab a luscious apple as a last meal for Jack to enjoy before having his soul claimed.

When the Devil did so, Jack quickly carved a cross into the trunk of the tree, trapping the Devil again. He made the Devil promise to never try to claim his soul again. Having no choice, the Devil again complied, and was freed by Jack.

The story doesn’t end there for Stingy Jack. When he died, God wanted nothing to do with the deceiver, and barred him from entering Heaven. To top it off, the Devil was pissed and didn’t want Jack in Hell either. Confused and distraught, Jack asked the Devil what he was supposed to do. The Devil told him to go back where he came from.

The way was very dark, so the Devil, in an undeserved act of decency, tossed Jack a piece of coal from hell. Jack placed the coal into a carved turnip to light his way.

 

Stingy Jack | How To Carve The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern [Infographic])

Image via Jovan-Ukropina Deviant Art

 

From then on, he was no longer called Stingy Jack. Instead, they called him Jack of the Lantern. It is said that he still roams the earth with his turnip lantern.

Tradition meant the Irish would carve creepy faces into turnips and place them in windows to scare away Stingy Jack and the other unsavory souls that roamed the earth on Samhain. Later, after the Irish immigrated to America, pumpkins became the more accepted vegetable for this purpose.

 

Bobbing for Apples:

While the apple has always had a large part in the origins of Halloween, the tradition of bobbing for apples actually came from Britain, and extended to Ireland. It was known as a courting ritual. The first young lady to bite an apple would be the first to marry, it was believed.

 

Courtesy of  en.wikipedia.org

 

The game was eventually all but forgotten, until Americans decided to incorporate it into modern Halloween festivities.

There was also a superstition that if a girl put her bitten apple under her pillow before she fell asleep, she would see her future husband in her dreams.

 

Trick or Treating:

There are differing opinions about the origins of trick or treating.

One theory asserts that it began in medieval times. Poor adults and their children would go door to door on All Hallows Eve and offer to say prayers and sing songs for the recently departed souls of that family. In exchange, the family would give food or beer to the poor family as a token of appreciation.

 

 

Another theory is that because All Hallows Eve became known for pranks, the term “Trick or Treat” was coined to offer kids an alternative to playing pranks, a sort of bribe. The here-are-some-treats-don’t-TP-my-yard-please kind of bribe.

Wherever trick or treating originated from, it became an integral part of Halloween festivities after the Great Depression. Children began going to homes dressed in costumes asking for candy, and it stuck.

 

Halloween Today

Today, Halloween is celebrated all over the world. Kids love to dress up and roam the neighborhoods filling bags or buckets with as much candy as they can. For adults, like many other American holidays, Halloween has become an excuse to gather, eat, drink, and party. We even dress up our animals!

 

 

This festival meant a lot people 2,000 years ago. It may not mean the same thing to us today, but Halloween is a great example of the way ancient festivals and traditions from different cultures have collided and morphed into modern day celebrations.

So when you celebrate tomorrow, stop for a moment to think about how humans have been taking part in similar festivals basically since the beginning of our species.

We continue to grow and change as time goes by, which begs the question: What will Halloween will look like 2,000 years in the future?

 

Be safe and have fun!

 

 

 

The information in this post was taken from several different resources, including:

Irishgeneologytoolkit.com

Albany.edu

JW.org

History.com

Hauntedbay.com

Smithsonianmag.com

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

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