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November 2014

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Ultimate $15 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014

Ultimate $15 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $15 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

Hi there. Welcome back to the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide by yours truly. This is a labor of love, fueled by my gut instinct to gather ALL THE THINGS in one place, my foolish desire to do it on a self-imposed deadline — all culminating in me dancing like a fool to disco music in the middle of the night after falling down the rabbit hole that is the Internet on Black Friday.

Yes, disco music. Christmas disco music. For your listening pleasure:

Anyway.

We started with with the $50 gift guide$40 gift guide, $30 gift guide and $20 gift guide, and each day we’re making our way down to the $5 gift guide, which will be filled with awesome stocking stuffers (some might say that’s the best part).

A quick word on the process

1. This guide includes gifts in the $11-$15 range. You might find a bargain or two tucked inside because it is the holiday season and prices fluctuate faster than you can say GIFTCARD PLEASE.

2. You’ll notice I break it down “She,” “He” and “Wee.” It’s suggestion, not definition. I do not believe in gender stereotyping or ageism or whatnot. I pretty much want everything on this list. Especially the Mr. T tea mug.

I pity the fool who doesn’t.

Are you ready? Get your mice set. And gooooooo clicking.

$15 Holiday Gift Guide / 2014

Ultimate $15 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $15 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

SHE:

For those who came to get down. For the illustration-loving, sarcasm-dripping, hangry-prone people. For those who need a little help taking their selfies. For those who find geometry soothing. For those who shoulda put a ring on it. For those who have loved The Strokes since 2001 and will not stop no matter what (this could just be me?).

1} Strokes tote 2} DMX notebook 3} Single Ladies illustrated lyrics 4} Daily Dishonesty book 5} Hangry Snacks bags 6} Geometric mug 7} Wire headband 8} Key prop 9} Wire cubes 10} Triangle rings 11} Diamond hiding box

Ultimate $15 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $15 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

HE:

For those who were really into Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. For the tea lovers, the Mr. T fans and those who can’t survive without craft beer. For those who like to keep a classic party game on deck because they’re so sick of Cards Against Humanity.

1} Letter art 2} Glass skull jar 3} Geo trees 4} Beer snob glass 5} Mustachioed pencil case 6} Deer magnet 7} Tea infuser 8} Have Some Tea Fool mug 9} Jenga 10} iPhone stand

Ultimate $15 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $15 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

WEE:

For those who don’t like to sleep in the dark. For the ballers. For those who like the Beatles, even in lullaby form. For girls in the village doing all right who became princesses overnight. For everyone who thinks dinosaurs are the bomb-diggity. For those who envision The Rock as the Tooth Fairy.

1} Tooth fairy pillows 2} Mixmates blocks 3} Moon in My Room 4} Rainbow in My Room 5} Rockabye Baby: Beatles 6} Sofia doll 7} Frozen puzzle 8} Pineapple teether 9} Dinosaur finger painting 10} Cactus plush 11} Pro-ball set

Stay tuned for the $10 gift guide.

P.S. Last year’s gift ideas: $10 gift guide; $15 gift guide; $20 gift guide


THE FINE PRINT: Affiliate links are used in this post. I only link to items I like or want to buy for myself. Thanks for supporting Little Gold Pixel!

Ultimate $20 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014

Ultimate $20 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $20 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

Hi there. Welcome back to the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide by yours truly. This is a labor of love, fueled by my gut instinct to gather ALL THE THINGS in one place, my foolish desire to do it on a self-imposed deadline — all culminating in me getting frustrated with my computer and thus taking multiple breaks to pick at leftover Thanksgiving dinner. It isn’t possible to overdose on goat cheese potatoes and chocolate pie, is it?

Because I feel drunk and I haven’t had a beer in hours.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, filled with family and joy and lots of football … or, if you’re anything like us, Shark Tank re-runs/Extreme Couponing during commercial breaks.

We started with with the $50 gift guide$40 gift guide and $30 gift guide, and each day we’re making our way down to the $5 gift guide, which will be filled with awesome stocking stuffers (some might say that’s the best part).

A quick word on the process

1. This guide includes gifts in the $16-$20 range. You might find a bargain or two tucked inside because it is the holiday season and prices fluctuate faster than you can say GIFTCARD PLEASE.

2. You’ll notice I break it down “She,” “He” and “Wee.” It’s suggestion, not definition. I do not believe in gender stereotyping or ageism or whatnot. I pretty much want everything on this list. Especially the art kit and spinning saucer. And the macro lens for iPhone.

But, most of all, I need a John Lennon poster. If I frame it, I think it could look like it belongs in an adult’s house. Mayyyybe.

Are you ready? Get your mice set. And gooooooo clicking.

$20 Holiday Gift Guide / 2014

Ultimate $20 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $20 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

SHE:

For the music fan who is listening to alt-J, Broken Bells, Ludacris and John Lennon on the same playlist. For those who wear scarves year-round. For those who like to change into their lounge pants as soon as they are home. For the person who loves family and Venn diagrams. For the camera geek who is meticulous about backing up files because once upon a time they lost all their vacation photos from Hawaii (sob). For those who can’t get enough of clever-sounding and awesome-smelling candles.

1} Family Venn diagram 2} Gimme Indie Rock 3} Sea salt candle 4} Camera USB 5} Chevron earrings 6} Nail polish 7} Water bottle 8} Laundry Day candle 9} Bad-Ass (pick your own scent) candle 10} Basically Just Waiting to Go Home and Take off My Pants mug 11} I’m a Grown-Ass Lady and I Do What I Want tote 12} John Lennon poster 13} Empire scarf 14} Eye art

Ultimate $20 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $20 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

HE:

For those who cannot resist saying “Luke, I am your father” whenever they see Darth Vader. For those who think every meal goes well with beer. For those like their keys to be attached to their person so they won’t lose them. For those who need a reminder to slow down so they won’t lose their keys. For those who like to easily see how much rice is left before they go to the store.

1} No Hurries No Worries screenprint 2} Food + Beer calendar 3} Personalized wallet 4} Sea salt handwash 5} Rice container 6} Beanie 7} There’s a Chance This is Whiskey mug 8} Aftershave balm 9} Black sea salt 10} Keychain with belt clip 11} Darth Vader art 12} Macro lens for iPhone 13} Record coasters

Ultimate $20 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $20 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

WEE:

For those who sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm under their breath. For those who draw with marker and not crayon. For the giddy chair spinners, the Ninja Turtle lovers, the Sneaky Snook sympathizers, those who think some people are worth melting for. For those who salivate over cars and relish the feel of squishy dough in their hands.

1} Frozen tee 2} Olaf 3} Scandinavian Jen 4} Play-Doh set 5} Hot Wheels set 6} Wooden play food 7} Once Upon an Alphabet 8} Captain Hook’s ship 9} Donatello 10} Spin N Saucer 11} Busytown game 12} U.S. puzzle 13} Art kit 14} Jumbo farm animals 15} Bunny pillowcase

Stay tuned for the $15 gift guide tomorrow.

P.S. Last year’s gift ideas: $10 gift guide; $15 gift guide; $20 gift guide


THE FINE PRINT: Affiliate links are used in this post. I only link to items I like or want to buy for myself. Thanks for supporting Little Gold Pixel!

Ultimate $30 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014

Ultimate $30 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $30 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

Hi there. Welcome back to the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide by yours truly. This is a labor of love, fueled by my gut instinct to gather ALL THE THINGS in one place, my foolish desire to do it on a self-imposed deadline — all culminating in me falling asleep late at night while creating collages in my woefully inadequate and antiquated version of Photoshop Elements (it’s really time I upgrade to the Creative Cloud).

You can’t say I’m not dedicated!

We started with with the $50 gift guide and the $40 gift guide, and each day we’re making our way down to the $5 gift guide, which will be filled with awesome stocking stuffers (some might say that’s the best part).

A quick word on the process

1. This guide includes gifts in the $21-$30 range. You might find a bargain or two tucked inside because it is the holiday season and prices fluctuate faster than you can say GIFTCARD PLEASE.

2. You’ll notice I break it down “She,” “He” and “Wee.” It’s suggestion, not definition. I do not believe in gender stereotyping or ageism or whatnot. I pretty much want everything on this list. Even the videogame controller illustrations. Especially the Aladdin Blu-ray.

I had such a crush on Aladdin. ♫ Make way for Prince Ali! ♫

Are you ready? Get your mice set. And gooooooo clicking.

$30 Holiday Gift Guide / 2014

 

Ultimate $30 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $30 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

WEE:

For all those who are curious and are into the magical pull of magnets. For the scribblers. For the Richard Scarry fans. For the stackers. For children of parents who love Labyrinth and 1990s hip hop.

1} Paper airplanes tee 2} Babe With the Power tee 3} California Knows How to Party tee 4} Bristle blocks 5} Boat rattle 6} Magnatab tracer 7} City blocks 8} Aladdin Blu-ray 9} Lowly Worm 10} Coloring placemats 11} Anatomy magnets 12} Magnetic blocks

Ultimate $30 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $30 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

HE:

For all those who love photography, like a muskier scent and have a sense of wonder in the universe. For the gamers, the shavers and the friends of succulents. For those who know they are babes, and say so at the beach.

1} Videogame controller art 2} Timezone map 3} Beatles poster 4} Popcorn popper 5} Popcorn salt 6} Felt planter 7} Shaving kit 8} Cord tacos 9} Beach Babe tee 10} Docking station 11} Palm reader 12} RGB tee 13} CMYK tee 14} Photoshop keyboard cheat sheet 15} Camera lens mug 16} Candle 17} Jupiter poster

Ultimate $30 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • Stylish, affordable gifts for men, women and children for no more than $30 tops • littlegoldpixel.com

SHE:

For those art lovers, ocean cravers, Swedish design fiends. For those who love everything gold. For chocolate eaters. For those with a dark humor. For the Instagram updaters. For those whose favorite shape is triangle.

1} Leather and brass necklace 2} Gold earbuds 3} Aloha Orchid candle (aka best candle ever) 4} Red horse towel 5} Himmeli inspired earrings 6} Sweetness I Was Only Joking tee 7} Phoneography starter kit 8} Pastel and gold bracelet 9} Candlestick 10} Toggle bracelet 11} Holga lens for iPhone 12} Triangle pillow 13} Wine-tasting chocolates 14} Perfume sampler 15} Surf art 16} 2015 gold foil calendar 17} Art book 18} Cross earrings

Stay tuned for the $20 gift guide tomorrow.

P.S. Last year’s gift ideas: $10 gift guide; $15 gift guide; $20 gift guide


THE FINE PRINT: Affiliate links are used in this post. I only link to items I like or want to buy for myself. Thanks for supporting Little Gold Pixel!

Ultimate $40 Holiday Gift Guide

Ultimate $40 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • 12 Gifts $40 or Less for Every Woman on Your Christmas List • littlegoldpixel.com

Hi there. Welcome back to the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide by yours truly. This is a labor of love, fueled by my gut instinct to gather ALL THE THINGS in one place, my foolish desire to do it on a self-imposed deadline — all culminating in a latenight Broken Bells marathon while ABC Family holiday movies play on silent in the background.

The insanity makes sense now, doesn’t it?

We started yesterday with the $50 gift guide, and each day we’re making our way down to the $5 gift guide, which will be filled with awesome stocking stuffers (some might say that’s the best part).

A quick word on the “process”

1. This guide includes gifts in the $31-$40 range. You might find a bargain or two tucked inside because it is the holiday season and prices fluctuate faster than you can say GIFTCARD PLEASE.

2. You’ll notice I break it down “She,” “He” and “Wee.” It’s suggestion, not definition. I do not believe in gender stereotyping or ageism or whatnot. I pretty much want everything on this list. Even the stuffed animals. And especially the throwback Atari and Sega Genesis consoles/games.

I will DOMINATE you at Pac-Man.

Are you ready? Get your mice set. And gooooooo clicking.

$40 Holiday Gift Guide / 2014

Ultimate $40 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • 12 Gifts $40 or Less for Every Woman on Your Christmas List • littlegoldpixel.com

HE:

For those first-generation gamers of a certain age (wink, wink). For those who love The Royal Tenenbaums and card tricks/puzzles/drinking games. For the people who can never find their charger. For the bearded hipsters and thirsty tricksters.

1} Wes Anderson book 2} Dancing water speakers 3} Shaker 4} Beard moisturizer 5} Cellphone dock 6} Puzzle set 7} Felt flag 8} Sega Genesis 9} Atari Flashback 10} Air hockey 11} Wooden cards (for building a house of cards and for playing)

(Psst. That Wes Anderson book is actually on super sale on Amazon right now. $23.72, get on it!)

Ultimate $40 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • 12 Gifts $40 or Less for Every Woman on Your Christmas List • littlegoldpixel.com

SHE:

For those pizza eaters, espresso drinkers, iPhone carriers. For those go-getters who are about to get cozy. For those who take off their bras as soon as they walk in the door. For those who like patterns on their cookies and maps and appreciate good design in the simple things.

1} Star Path Doormat 2} Pizza shirt 3} City skyline clock 4} Adventure Awaits pillow 5} Safety Dance sweatshirt 6} Makeup brush set 7} Vamoose necklace 8} Pineapple candle 9} Leather iPhone case/wallet 10} Bath tea 11} Espresso cups 12} Rolling pin 

Ultimate $40 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • 12 Gifts $40 or Less for Every Woman on Your Christmas List • littlegoldpixel.com

WEE:

For those with overactive imaginations, the daydreamers, the pretenders, the sound shapers, the budding fashionistas, those who like to hug soft things (raises hand).

1} Tumbling Tower Blocks 2} Bird dress-up 3} Angel doll 4} Fairy doll 5} Multiplication table 6} Guitar 7} Record player plush 8} Dragon 9} Cloud pillow (can be personalized) 10} Handmade dress

Stay tuned for the $30 gift guide tomorrow.

P.S. Last year’s gift ideas: $10 gift guide, $15 gift guide, $20 gift guide

P.P.S. You can get printable wrapping paper (including the one featured in the top image) from e.m. Papers.


THE FINE PRINT: Affiliate links are used in this post. I only link to items I like or want to buy for myself. Thanks for supporting Little Gold Pixel!

Ultimate $50 Holiday Gift Guide

Ultimate $50 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • 12 Gifts $50 or Less for Every Woman on Your Christmas List • littlegoldpixel.com

Hi there. Welcome to the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide by yours truly. This is a labor of love, fueled by my ongoing flirtation with online window shopping and extra fueled by a latenight surge of caffeine and a sticky “delete” key on my laptop.

A quick word on the “process”

1. This is the first of several guides, including gifts in in the $41-$50 range. You might find a bargain or two tucked inside because it is the holiday season and prices fluctuate faster than you can say GIFTCARD PLEASE. (For example, the train set featured below was $49 yesterday when I compiled this list but it’s $33 today and tomorrow it could be $100 but who knows.)

2. You’ll notice I break it down “She,” “He” and “Wee.” It’s suggestion, not definition. I do not believe in gender stereotyping or ageism or whatnot. Cross pollinate. Buy the men’s grooming kit for your mom or the scooter for your grandma. It’s all good. And, truthfully, I want nearly everything on this list for myself.

Are you ready? Get your mice set. And gooooooo clicking.

$50 Holiday Gift Guide / 2014

Ultimate $50 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • 12 Gifts $50 or Less for Every Woman on Your Christmas List • littlegoldpixel.com

SHE:

For the unicorn admirers, wine and cheese aficionados, green thumbs, party planners, necklace-loving and nostalgic people in your life.

1} picture frame 2} unicorn salt shakers 3} jewelry box 4} mini candles 5} tripoli server 6} atrium 7} gem-shaped atrium 8} bead necklace 9} phone charger 10} cheese board 11} necklace 12} curio cabinet

 

Ultimate $50 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • 12 Gifts $50 or Less for Every Man on Your Christmas List • littlegoldpixel.com

HE:

For the zombie-fighting, science-minded, precision-focused readers in your life.

1} Walking Dead hoodie 2} Space Odyssey hoodie 3} Labyrinth Game 4} Working Man’s Hygiene Kit 5} Vans 6} Bag 7} Penguin Bookends 8} Antlers 9} Arrow Bookends 10} Bowling game 11} Fibonacci cutting board 12} Match holder

Ultimate $50 Holiday Gift Guide for 2014 • 9 Gifts $50 or Less for Every Child on Your Christmas List • littlegoldpixel.comWEE:

For the scribblers, practicing singers, builders, conductors, budding photographers and pint-sized thrill seekers in your life.

1} Coloring Mural 2} Karaoke machine 3} Camera 4} Hanging Initial 5} Monster Block Set 6} Train set 7} Scooter 8} Legos 9} Plasma car

Stay tuned for the $40 gift guide tomorrow.

P.S. Last year’s gift ideas: $10 gift guide, $15 gift guide, $20 gift guide


THE FINE PRINT: Affiliate links are used in this post. I only link to items I like or want to buy for myself. Thanks for supporting Little Gold Pixel!

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Guys, I recently watched a little bit of an old Family Ties episode.

I have such pleasant memories of watching this show with my family, and these memories include me laughing because it was a funny show. Or was it?

Maybe it was a funny show. In the 1980s. Today? Not so much.

Now, the jokes are flat, and there’s an awful lot of crying. Even Michael J. Fox can’t make it better.

It got me thinking about a Michael J. Fox sitcom that does hold up: Spin City.

Then I jotted down eight other sitcoms I could think of that withstand the test of time and could be worth binge watching all over again on a lazy weekend.

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch (All Over Again)

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Sex and the City

Four neurotic women navigate the dating scene in New York City in the late 1990s-early 2000s. What’s not to love? This was one of those shows that even H gets roped into watching because the writing is tight and within the perfectly formulaic story lines (“I couldn’t help but wonder”) are self-contained little nuggets of wisdom. Everyone identifies with one of the women more than the others. Who were you: Samantha, Carrie, Charlotte or Miranda? (I always liked Miranda best.) And were you Team Aidan or Team Big? (Aidan all the way, though Carrie didn’t deserve him.)

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Seinfeld

My No. 1 favorite sitcom of all time, so much so I bought each season on DVD as they came out. And yet I still stop channel surfing if I happen to catch an episode in syndication. I cannot get enough of the show about nothing! Even though that was the catchphrase, it was really a show about all the little things that we see/think/identify with on a daily basis but keep to ourselves. Seinfeld gave us “yadda yadda yadda” and “not that there’s anything wrong with that” and “these pretzels are making me thirsty.”

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Just Shoot Me

Hilarious cast of characters who work at a high-fashion magazine and get in misadventures together. David Spade as receptionist and George Segal as owner and publisher of Blush are the diamonds in this jewel of a series.

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Scrubs

Zach Braff at his best, as an intern then attending doctor at Sacred Heart. The show’s fast-paced style and slapstick comedy, along with Braff’s constant daydreaming, makes it a complete treat to watch. In fact, you’ll laugh at something different every time. The entire cast is perfect, and it only falters in the last season when the cast changes, which … just don’t watch it. You can mainline the first 8 seasons on Netflix.

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Roseanne

So many things to love about Roseanne. Groundbreaking for being the first sitcom to feature normal-looking working-class people with working-class problems and never being scared to call The Man out for his BS. In general just perfect for its biting sarcasm and very real moments. Bonus: You can now look at this very terrible moment in fashion and laugh at it, too.

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Tell me I’m not the only person who has the theme song memorized. Back when Will Smith was charming and funny in every episode about this urban kid who ends up living the posh life with his “auntie and uncle in Bel Air.” And his cousin Carlton, who brings us this gem of a dance.

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Everybody Loves Raymond

Honestly, this is not my usual jam. H loves this show, though, and by extension I’ve grown to like it, too. It’s about a man whose parents live on the same street as he does and the everyday existence of being in ridiculously close proximity to family. It’s very consistent and insistent in its jokes, and the deadpan delivery is flawless. You can watch all 9 seasons on Netflix.

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Spin City

Now this is a Michael J. Fox show worth re-watching. The show, about the inner workings of a city government, featured the actor at his very best. Also hilarious is everyone’s favorite Ferris Bueller sidekick, Alan Ruck, and later on, Heather Locklear. I’d stop after season 4, though, that’s when Fox left and the show jumped the shark. You can watch full episodes on YouTube.

9 Time-Proof Sitcoms You Can Binge Watch • littlegoldpixel.com

Rules of Engagement

So, I loved this show, and I’m not quite over its demise. There were some parallels to Seinfeld that I found pleasing — the friends randomly meeting up in the diner, the premise that isn’t really a premise (just about some people who peripherally know each other and start hanging out) and the inclusion of Patrick Warburton (Puddy to you). The cast is perfection. On top of Warburton, you have David Spade, Megyn Price, Oliver Hudson and, in later seasons, Wendi McLendon-Covey, before her brilliant run on “The Goldbergs” now. You can watch the entire series on Netflix.

Which sitcoms could you watch over and over again?

Free Thanksgiving Printable: So Thankful

Free Thanksgiving Printable: So Thankful • littlegoldpixel.com • Handwritten art printable for you gallery wall or seasonal decor.

Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu yet? Confession time: I haven’t given it much thought yet, but I have a Pinterest board collecting lots of ideas.

Warning: There may or may not be a disproportional amount of pecan pie recipes, so enter at your own risk.

No matter what dishes I end up making, it’s for certain I’ll bust out my signature pumpkin soup recipe sometime in the next few weeks and make puppy chow. (And maybe someday I’ll get around to updating those posts so they have real photos.)

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

I created a free Thanksgiving printable for you to hang up for the holiday, although I happen to think it works year-round.

Free Thanksgiving Printable: So Thankful

Image is high-res horizontal 8×10 jpgs and should fit in a standard frame.

Free Thanksgiving Printable: So Thankful • littlegoldpixel.com • Handwritten art printable for you gallery wall or seasonal decor.

Right click + save image as …

Download

THE FINE PRINT: As always, play nice. For personal use only. Share with friends. Tag @littlegoldpixel on Instagram so I can see where you’re hanging your print!

P.S. More freebies!

I’ve Been Reading: 60/60 Book Reviews for 2014

Book Reviews 2014 Part 5 • Little Gold Pixel

This is an occasional series that chronicles my quest to read 60 books this year. Book reviews 2014: take six. Let’s see how it went, shall we?

Guys. I did it! I read 60 books this year!

*Busting out the virtual champagne for celebration.*

I mean, there was a time when I thought this wouldn’t happen. Remember when I was so far behind pace it was laughable? I am officially an audiobook fiend, and I owe my kicked-up pace to being able to listen on my commute to work.

I listen at double speed. H walked in on me listening to a book one day and was aghast that I could understand anything at all because it sounded like a chipmunk talking. Crazy thing is … I’ve been listening to books fast for so long that 2x sounds slow to me. I wish Overdrive would go up to 4x.

Anyway, onto the books. This is a pretty good crop. Only two of them made me want to shoot fire out of my eyeballs. Which ones? Read on to find out …

(Do you follow me on Goodreads? You should!)

P.S. Book Reviews 2014: Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4 and Part 5

10reviews

 

Book Reviews 2014: 60/60

Astonish Me / Maggie Shipstead
File under: Literature, dance, broken dreams, broken hearts
Plot: Joan is a good dancer, but not good enough. Her obsession with perfection leads to a brief relationship with a world-class dancer, the ramifications of which reverberate through her life for decades to come.
Review: If you have watched Centerstage as many times as I have, you will enjoy this.
Amazon Goodreads

Rules of Civility / Amor Towles
File under: 1930s, New York, historical lit
Plot: Katey is a young woman who navigates Manhattan society after befriending a man who seemingly has it all (but looks can be deceiving).
Review: A smart read that has a great sense of time and place and will have you rooting for the heroine throughout.
Amazon Goodreads

Big Little Lies / Liane Moriarty
File under: Suspense, mystery, chick lit, mama drama
Plot: Kindergarten moms are at odds with one another after what appears to be a clear-cut case of bullying in the classroom, but everything comes to a head when someone winds up dead at a school fundraiser. Whodunit and why?
Review: I loved every single character in this witty tome. Oh, and I didn’t see the twist coming, so big win!
Amazon Goodreads

Fat Chance / Nick Spalding
File under: Bumbling, meandering, WTF, ugh
Plot: A British couple joins a Biggest Loser-style weight-loss competition and aside from a few fat jokes and ridiculous situations they create for themselves … nothing interesting happens, ever.
Review: Maybe I didn’t like this book because I’m not the type of fat person who would ever see clothing that was too small and think, “Why don’t I take this to the dressing room and trap myself in it, you know, just for the fun of public humiliation?”
Amazon Goodreads

Archetype / M.D. Waters
File under: Dystopian, scifi, love triangle whyyyy
Plot: Emma wakes up after an “accident” and can’t remember anything about her life. She has dreams about an entirely different life. Or are they visions?
Review: There’s nothing groundbreaking here (the “twist” is obvious from the title of the novel), but it’s a fun enough read and I’m already working on the sequel.
Amazon Goodreads

Astray / Emma Donoghue
File under: Short stories, historical literature
Plot: A collection of stories that all stem from enticing and/or mysterious historical news/documents about people who are either about to take on or finish a journey.
Review: Emma Donoghue’s writing gave me goosebumps.
Amazon Goodreads

The Vacationers / Emma Straub
File under: Beach read, chick lit
Plot: Family with problems goes on a European vacation and has to come to grips with their choices.
Review: Move along now, nothing much to see here. It’s just a bikini and some words. Enjoy.
Amazon Goodreads

Ask the Passengers / A.S. King
File under: Coming of age, Y.A., LGBT
Plot: Teen girl struggles to come to terms with who she is and who she loves and why she needs to tell anyone or label herself.
Review: I imagine this sometimes painfully real and beautiful book would be a huge comfort for young gay people.
Amazon Goodreads

The Giver / Lois Lowry
File under: Y.A., dystopian, utopian, philosophical
Plot: In a world where everything is the same, and decisions are made for you, Jonas has been chosen to become the new Receiver, which means he must carry the burden of painful memories for a society that doesn’t want or understand pain.
Review: This genius little book is like an onion, and I’m still peeling back layers and theories.
Amazon Goodreads

Rooms / Lauren Oliver
File under: Literary fiction, mystery, hauntings, zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Plot: A man’s long estranged family returns home after his death to find mysteries underfoot and ghosts living in the walls.
Review: If only the book were as exciting as my plot line makes it sound.
Amazon Goodreads

In a Nutshell

Three to read: Astonish Me, Big Little Lies, Astray … or The Giver

Three to pass: Fat Chance, Rooms, The Vacationers

So there you have it. SIXTY down! I still can’t believe I’m on track for 70 books this year.

What have you been reading lately? I’m always on the lookout for a good book … do share recommendations in the comments. Have you read any of these books? Do you agree/disagree with my assessment? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

P.P.S. Linking this post with Modern Mrs. Darcy. Check it out for more reading recommendations!

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I Sleep With the Fan On (+ More Dealbreaker Habits)

What's Your Dealbreaker Habit? • Little Gold Pixel

I sleep with the fan on. Even in the winter. I’m thankful to have a husband who doesn’t reach over to strangle me when he wakes up in the middle of the night shivering. It’s because he realizes that it’s my dealbreaker habit, the one thing that could unravel our collective sanity if he were to push back too hard.

Do you have a dealbreaker habit?

I have a theory that everyone does.

For instance, H can’t start anything new unless it’s an “even” time. He has to start on the quarter hour, half hour or on a 10. He once put off going to the kitchen for a beer because it was 10:23. He waited seven minutes to pop open a small taste of heaven, so you know it’s a serious fixation.

Alexa can’t sleep without a lamp on bright enough to blind someone. I have to sneak in later to turn it down. If I try to turn the light down while she’s awake, well … you’ve heard the term “screaming bloody murder” before, right?

Some Habits Are More Popular Than Others

You might think that because I care about something like white noise while I sleep that I care about the orientation of my roll of toilet paper. You would be wrong!

I keep coming across all kinds of studies and memes about toilet paper rolls and the “right” way to put them on. Do you go over or under? Apparently you’re an idiot if you do it the “wrong” way. This is by far the most polarizing dealbreaker habit, and perhaps the most popular.

According to some study (seriously, someone somewhere considered this a real research topic), 70% of people like it “over” and 30% of people like it “under.”

What about those of us who just don’t care? Where’s that margin of error?

Because never in my entire life have I cared which way the roll was on the spindle, as long as it was actually on the spindle.

Exhibit A:

I understand the toilet paper debate is a widespread thing, but let’s not forget that there are several where that comes from.

Maybe you can’t stand it when your toothpaste tubes get squeezed from the top?

This exchange from “Forget Paris” comes to mind:

Ellen: Do you sleep with the window open?
Mickey: Yeah.
Ellen: I don’t like it. You will have to stop that.
Mickey: Ok.
Mickey: Do you squeeze the toothpaste at the top or the bottom?
Ellen: Top.
Mickey: Don’t do that I hate that.
Ellen: If you ever use my car, make sure the mirror is back where I put it.
Mickey: Ok, I can do that.

Ellen: All right. Do you want to talk about religion, politics, whether you want to have kids or not.
Mickey: Nah, that crap will work itself out, we’ve handled the big issues.
Ellen: Ok, I’ll marry you.

For the record, I like to sleep with the fan on and window open in complete darkness, with all the doors shut. I don’t care about cracks. I don’t check the minute hand before I do something. I squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle. I’m the only person who consistently puts toilet paper on the spindle in this house, and I do so without prejudice of roll orientation (although I just checked both bathrooms and both rolls are “under,” so read into that what you will).

What about you? What’s your dealbreaker habit?

Further Reading

Awesome Retro Trees Free Printables

treespinterest

Do you have a favorite color? It’s one of those questions you get asked all the time when you’re a child, yet when you’re an adult no one cares anymore.

In third grade it was not cool to like green. I don’t know who decided this, this arbitrary rule of coolness that was passed along like the plague. It was a well-known fact that when it was your turn to jump on the merry-go-round you should avoid jumping on the green section because “snot” because “cooties” because “you’re it.”

Green is a gorgeous color, of course. It’s never been my favorite, though, and I wonder if my third-grade experience has something to do with that.

My favorite color is red. So it should come as no shock to you that I enjoyed coloring in my red trees very much.

But just so the other colors wouldn’t feel neglected, I made some more trees. Blue, orange, pink — that last one is for my little girl, who always tells me her favorite color is pink.

And, if you look closely, maybe you’ll even spy some green.

Retro Trees Free Printables

Images are high-res 8×10 jpgs and should fit in a standard frame.

redtreeframe

Right click + save image as …

Download

bluetreeframe

Right click + save image as …

Download

THE FINE PRINT: As always, play nice. For personal use only. Share with friends. Tag @littlegoldpixel on Instagram so I can see where you’re hanging your print!

P.S. More freebies!