100+ Stocking Stuffer, Easter Basket, and Gift Bag Ideas for Men

Welcome! Hopefully after reading this post and all the comments you will have a better idea as to what to get that guy in your life, whether it be your son, brother, husband, or dad! And honestly, this list can be great for any hard-to-shop for person! Many of these ideas are gender-neutral and will work just as well for the mother, sister, cousin, or wife in your life ;

This is a revamp of my previous post, 50+ Stocking Stuffers for Men. So many people left such great comments and ideas that I thought I would condense them all here so they are easier to read through. There are still some great traditions in the comments if you want to have more ideas.

These small gift ideas are perfect for stocking stuffers, but also for Easter baskets and gift bags too. Most of the ideas on here range from $1-$10.

Looking for Ideas for the Kids? Click HERE!

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Favorite Halloween Fonts!

I love Halloween! There is so much stuff to make, bake, and create, to celebrate the holiday. Whether it be food, decorations, or costumes, there are a million different ways you can let your creativity shine through.

Anyone having a Halloween party? Here are a few of my favorite spooky and wacky Halloween fonts!

1. Black Widow 2. Freehand Written 3. Goodnight Freak 4. In the Know 5. Organic Fear 6. Tuna and Hotdogs 7. Dark wood 8. Ready Black 9. Sewn Tight 10. Sticky Mad 11. Thirty Months of Victory

You can also find more FREE Halloween Fonts HERE.

A Family Recipe to Feed a Crowd

I’m going to let you in on a secret recipe today; a recipe from my husband’s Portuguese family. Having a hard time figuring out what dish to make or bring to your next event? Look no further; bring Portuguese Beans!

A big pot of these flavorful beans are easy to make and a big favorite around here. We make them for family gatherings, BBQ’s, and parties. If by chance you have any leftovers, they taste even better the next day for lunch or with some runny eggs for breakfast.

I like this recipe because it is very flavorful and has only a few ingredients. These beans go great with any meal, whether it be hamburgers and hotdogs, steak, chicken or eggs! I like to use beer in the recipe, but if you want to have a gluten-free pot, it is easy to substitute the beer for chicken broth and it will be just as tasty!

I’ve fed about 20 people with this recipe, when it is a side-dish. Technically it’s about 26 servings of beans or so. I cook it in my regular large sauce pot. It’s a pretty cheap dish as well. A huge can of beans costs about $5, bacon $2-5, tomato sauce $2-3, and everything else less than $1. So you can feed over 20 people for about $10.

Portuguese Beans for a Group:
Ingredients:
1 12oz pack of bacon or 8-10 slices of the thick cut kind, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 15oz cans of tomato sauce
1 bottle of beer
OR
2 cups chicken broth
1 huge can of pinto beans, rinsed (the #10 can size with 26 or so servings)

Directions:
In a large pot, crisp the diced bacon
Remove bacon from pot with slotted spoon and set aside
In bacon grease, cook onion and garlic until translucent
Add the tomato sauce, beer or broth, and the bacon into the pot
Simmer for 10 minutes
Add rinsed pinto beans and simmer for about 15-30 minutes
Add more liquid if necessary (keep about an inch or two of liquid above beans)

Enjoy!

Portuguese Beans

A bad picture of the beans; I always forget to take a picture because I’m too busy eating them and they are gone by the time I remember!

Adventures in Breastfeeding + Altered Shirt Tutorial

Little man is 7 weeks old now; where has the time gone!? Actually, much of it has been spent sitting on the couch watching Netflix and breastfeeding. Not many complaints here, though. My wonderful husband has done a great job with most of the cooking and house upkeep so that I can feed Gabe and keep him happy.  Plus, I get to stare at his sweet face on cuddle him. And steal lots of baby kisses, don’t forget about those.

It has been nice, though, that he has started going longer between feeds. It’s nice to have a little break!

Breastfeeding for a new mom can be a bit of a surprise (at least for me and those that I have talked to). Much of the time you expect it to be such a natural thing, but it can be hard work! Between getting that baby to latch correctly, worrying about supply, and having sore and sensitive nipples, it’s no wonder our breastfeeding rate is one of the lowest in the world. Having said that, nowadays there is so many resources available to new moms that can help. Le Leche League and hospital run courses are just the tip of the iceberg – just do a Google search!

Get through some of the tough patches and the benefits of breastfeeding make themselves more clear. Besides the health benefit of the milk itself, the amount of money we save, and the bonding experience, I really think little Gabe would cry much more if it wasn’t for breastfeeding. We are lucky that so far, he has never been inconsolable. If he starts to cry, it is usually because he is hungry. If he is crying for another reason, then breastfeeding automatically fixes the problem. Nothing the boob won’t fix and it’s always a pleasure having a happy baby.

My biggest breastfeeding problem currently? Trying to find clothes I actually want to nurse in (and can afford)! I think I have finally found the solution: altered camis/spaghetti-strap tanks with a nursing bra under a loose or stretchy shirt. This makes nursing easy and discreet and way cheaper than buying specialty nursing clothes. Sometimes nursing tanks don’t offer much support; by altering these tanks it is easy to choose the support you want by wearing it with a nursing bra.

All you need is:

Easy!

All the tanks I used were fitted, so there was no droop in the back. It is so easy to nurse in any top!

Decorative Throw Pillows

My husband finally relented and let me add some yellow into our already gray and black bedroom. It may be overdone, but I think a yellow, gray, and black bedroom looks great. To celebrate, and to actually add some of the color, I started off by making some throw pillows for our bed.

I had 2 square pillows and 1 rectangular pillow already, I just needed to make covers for them. Instead of cutting out several pieces and adding a zipper or button, I went with the envelope style pillow cover. An envelope style pillow cover is probably the easiest pillow cover and you only need to cut one piece of fabric!

I could attempt to draw you out a tutorial, but so many already exist. You can find some HERE or HERE or search for yourself. All you need is a piece of fabric a little longer than 2x your pillow and slightly wider. You could use your sewing machine, but if don’t have one, you could try the iron on hemming tape or maybe attempt the hemming glue as well.

I made two yellow pillow covers and one black one, and then decorated them with flower accents

It's a good idea to iron the fabric before you sew...

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Experimental Cooking: Protein Packed Breakfast Cookies

Yesterday morning I spent a couple hours scouring the internet on an empty stomach, looking for a breakfast cookie that was actually healthy and didn’t require a ton of specialty ingredients. I didn’t consider 1/4 cup or more of sugar to be considered healthy and I was amazed when people said the cookie was high in protein when they had less than 2 grams per serving.

So I finally pried myself off the couch and went to work in the kitchen, challenging myself to make a healthier breakfast cookie. I concocted a cookie batter from various ingredients in my cupboard and hoped for the best!

The batter seemed a bit soft, but I put them in the oven anyway. After about 11 minutes, I was pleasantly surprised that they had maintained their shape.

They were fluffy in the center and slightly crispy on the edges (which is just how I like my cookies). The flavor was quite light and enjoyable. Next time I would probably not use the banana protein powder though, and keep it to vanilla (or maybe chocolate).  The peanut butter did not come through, so next time I’m going to try to add more vanilla and cinnamon to taste like a regular oatmeal cookie, or perhaps replace some of the Greek yogurt with more peanut butter. I liked the cookies with the chocolate chips the best (who wouldn’t). The next day these cookies still had great texture and they weren’t overly soft (nor did they harden) like some cookies can get when you use fruit puree.

I will label this recipe as a success and will make again – with less than 3 grams of sugar and 11 grams of protein for 2 cookies, these might come in handy as a quick snack for when the baby gets here (they say oats helps with milk production, right?)

Protein Breakfast Cookies Recipe

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Chili-lime chicken with mango and avocado salsa

Today’s dinner was one of my favorites: thin chicken breasts seasoned with chili, lime, and other spices, then grilled and served with a mango and avocado salsa. It really hit the spot!

I could also eat the salsa by itself. I had to stop eating it by the spoonful or else there wouldn’t be enough for dinner! The salsa lasted us about 3 servings, but it could be more if I didn’t eat half of it just myself. It probably makes about 1 cup of salsa.

Chili-lime chicken with mango and avocado salsa recipe

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Burp Cloths DIY Instructions and Variations

Last night I got the sewing bug and decided to make some more burp cloths for our little guy that should be here in just a few weeks. There are lots of different ways to make burp cloths, but it mostly boils down to two different variations:

Enhanced cloth diaper (to be used as burp cloth), where fabric is sewn onto the middle of the diaper, like HERE and HERE.

and for lack of a better description, a more “from scratch” or layered burp cloth. These burp cloths are usually shaped to fit around your shoulder, or in a rectangle, and utilizes different fabrics on one side and more absorbent fabric on the other side (or double sided flannel).

I made some of the second variety.

I love using Homemade by Jill’s basic template to get started. I like the curve because it allows the cloth to be up against your neck and over your should comfortably. I too, like to use flannel as my go-to pretty burp cloth fabric; I like how soft it is.

Decorative fabric to use for burp cloths:

  • Flannel (my favorite)
  • Fleece
  • Quilting or non-stretch cotton

Absorbent layer/side:

  • Another layer of flannel
  • Cloth diapers (prefolds or the 1-ply, thin layer kind, using 2 layers)
  • Terry cloth/recycled towel

Different variations:

  • Flannel on both sides
  • Flannel on both sides with a thin layer of cloth diaper or batting in the center
  • Flannel on one side, cloth diaper on the other
  • Flannel on one side, terry/towel on the other
  • Fleece on one side, terry/towel, or cloth diaper on the other side
  • Cotton fabric on one side, terry/towel, or cloth diaper on the other side

Directions:

Prewash all fabric and print out template

Cut out a layer of decorative fabric using template

Cut out the absorbent layer or side, or cheat like I do, and lay the decorative fabric wrong side up against it, and sew around the edges, leaving a spot open to turn right-side out.

Trim the edges and turn right-side out.

Tuck open edge inside and stitch around the whole burp cloth

And you are done!

Fleece and flannel burp rags

My current favorite snack: Quick and easy broiled grapefruit

I’ve eaten more grapefruits in the last few months than I have in my entire life. I’m not sure if it because I am pregnant, or because I found a great way to eat them (maybe a little bit of both). Bonus? It only takes a few minutes to prepare!

There are different variations of this recipe, but the following is the one that’s my favorite:

Easy Broiled Grapefruit

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2-1 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 tsp honey (or brown sugar)
  • Pinch of ground ginger (I haven’t tried using fresh)

Directions:

  • Turn oven on broil
  • In a small dish, microwave butter until melted. Stir in honey and ginger
  • Cut grapefruit in half, and section
  • Place grapefruit halves on baking sheet (I put tinfoil on the baking sheet), open side up
  • Spread butter and honey mixture onto the fruit
  • Broil 4-6 minutes
  • Enjoy!

*I usually only broil it for 4 minutes and while you have to be careful taking it out, it is usually just the right temperature to eat right away

*Work with the ingredient amounts to come up with what works for you!

*Some people also like to add cinnamon and cardamon to the mix

*If using brown sugar, it gets a little crispy under the broiler (= delicious)

 

 

Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas for Children

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Every year we would get Easter Baskets from the Easter Bunny (just like stockings from Santa). My mom would fill our baskets with special treats and toys along with hiding Easter Eggs. It was almost like waking up on Christmas morning!

This year I only have my toddler-age Godchild to make a basket for, but I have been thinking about lots of other ideas! The following is a list of Easter Basket Filler Ideas that don’t involve candy – some to make and some to buy. Just follow the links for the craft tutorials or instructions!

What to use for baskets:

  • The cheap wicker Easter baskets they sell at the store
  • Other stores have more fun “baskets” like fabric animals and colorful pails
  • Colorful organizational totes at the dollar store (we get these the most – fun and functional for after Easter!)
  • Decorative bowls
  • Toy containers: baby doll bath tubs, strollers or cradles, Lego containers, etc. (holds the goodies and doubles as a toy)
  • Real baskets from a home or craft store
  • Instead of using Easter grass, use fabric, a new piece of clothing, a baby blanket, etc.

Easter Basket Ideas (other than candy):

  • Sidewalk Chalk (make your own without any toxic ingredients if you have the time)
  • Playdough
  • Gak  (another homemade ooze recipe)
  • Bubbles
  • Crayons (melt old or new crayons down and more into molds for personalized crayons)
  • Color books (or print coloring pages from online)
  • Babydoll or stuffed animal sleeping bags (See how HERE – Sleeping bags are good for boys or girls, just alter the color combinations!)
  • Spongeballs (great water toy or baby toy. Cheap and easy!)
  • Chipmunk or other animals from a glove
  • Teddy bears or a socktopuss  from colorful socks
  • Letters, shapes, or number sponges for bath time
  • Felt Food for play kitchens (Lots of stuff out there!)
  • Dinosaur tails for imagination play
  • Superhero capes (I can personally attest that super hero capes are for boys AND girls!)
  • Eggs full or small toys (think plastic dinosaurs, army men, Legos, etc)
  • Eggs full of colorful goldfish or cheerios (love this idea for my Godchild)
  • Stickers or stamps (My basket always had a ton of Lisa Frank stickers! Here’s a link on how to make your own stickers)
  • Pencils and stationary (there is so many free printables out there, you could probably print your own out as well)
  • Art supplies (one of my favorites as a kid)
  • Kites (we always got one of these in our basket!)
  • Balls or other sports equipment
  • Make your own airplane kits (you can buy these for a dollar or two at craft stores usually)
  • Sippy cups or drink cups (I bought a bunny cup with a straw for my Godchild)
  • Puzzles and other games
  • Flash cards or playing cards
  • Hair or jewelry accessories
  • Dress-up items
  • New clothes or shoes
  • Movies or music (Veggie Tales Jonah DVD is $5 at Target, along with some other kids movies)
  • Books and comics
  • Sand toys
  • Bath toys
  • Kids gardening supplies
  • Bug catching supplies
  • Craft kits

Theme Baskets:

  • Art supplies – paints, crayons, color books, notebooks, etc.
  • Sports/outdoor equipment – Frisbee, balls, 2 person paddle games, etc.
  • Baking or food – Aprons, play food, plates and other containers
  • Bathtime – foam and sponge shapes, containers, other bath toys
  • Beach or toy box– Sand pails, shovels, measuring cups, sifters, funnels, etc, This book would be cool too.
  • Gardening/bug catching/exploring – bug containers, nets, child-size shovels, boots, pots, explorer hats and vests
  • Superhero: Capes, KIDS comics and movies, action figures
  • Dress up – Jewelry, shoes, clothing, etc.
  • Game Time: Games and puzzles, snacks for family game night

What are you putting in your Easter Baskets?

creativegiftsforchildren

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