Uncommon Goods: Good–Make that Great!–for Gift Ideas!

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I got an email a few weeks ago from Uncommon Goods, asking me if I would like to review my choice of their merchandise on Second Breakfast, in return for getting those few products for free. And my reply? “Yes! Yes! Yes!!” (That was the reply in my head, anyway.)

I’ve loved Uncommon Goods for years now, but have never actually ordered anything from them. I love their handmade goods from creative artists and small companies (lots of which are made, partially at least, of recycled material), and I was just a little jealous when a few months back they contacted Mum to do practically the same thing for a father’s day feature. She had fun picking out gifts for Grandpa and Dad, and though I had never bought anything from Uncommon Goods, I looking through their website (not for the first time!) with her, and had a few things I was keeping my eye on. (Christmas gift ideas abound!)

Mack and I love playing with the story cubes!
Mack and I love playing with the story cubes!

But even with those ideas, it was so hard to choose! I looked through their birthday gifts (here), their wedding gifts (always fun to look through, especially when you have a friend’s wedding coming up!) (here), as well as others. . . but I quickly turned from looking through all their guides (anniversary gifts and gifts for men simply don’t apply to me) to just looking up things I love: books, coffee, writing, games, anything literary. . . while making notes about little things I saw, and wondering whose name I would get for Christmas this year? But since I didn’t know the name, I decided I would just have to get things that I like *sigh, yawn, evil chuckle* and make notes of other things I saw I knew my brother or Mom or family might like. But for now, I guess I would just have to pick out my own things. . . let the fun begin.

And I what I found, not only excited me when they arrived, but my family as well. (Two for one–score!) Coffee, games, literary. . . yes, yes, yes! All things we love. And some of them have already become favorites in the house. Mack and I have been playing Rory’s Story Cubes non-stop and trying very hard to make coherent sentences out of the word cubes (I’m a writer, what else would I get?), and I love my new French Press. . . though that stays down in my room, so it doesn’t get broken.

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Actually, we don’t really follow the rules when it comes to this game. We started out using them, but it’s evolved, and the rules change all the time now. Mack especially loves taking the symbols on the dice and making up the most confusing combination he can, and then having us go through them making up a story. Mine always sound ridiculous (granted, I make my stories as ridiculous as I can), but Dad can come up with reasonable stories really quickly. It’s a little like an improv game, like we play at drama, and is very fun.

(In fact, Mack’s asked Mom to get him his own set for Christmas, and just today I found out there are several different sets! Woo-hoo! There are the original story cubes, and then the ‘voyages’ story cubes, the ‘actions’ story cubes, and then some special 2-dice sets!)

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I knew I had to get this French Press when I got their email. I’ve seen it before, and it just made me happy–it’s so pretty! Timmy and I were discussing it, and decided if we whittled a wine cork into a little cork for the spout, it would actually make a rather nice travel mug. It’s a one-person French Press, really–it’s small enough that all the coffee fits perfectly into my Starbucks mug, with room for cream and sugar or (even better, this time of year) eggnog! It’s just delicate enough, however, that I don’t like leaving it in the regular circulation–instead, it’s on my desk with my mugs and teapot I don’t use often, and don’t want broken. Ironically enough, I think I’m the one that usually breaks things in the kitchen–I’m a bit of a klutz, especially when I’m tired. (Sorry, Mom!)

I could go one with Christmas (and birthday!) ideas–the Game of Phones, the ‘wicked smart’ word game One Up!, the literary–well, everything! (Check it out–scarves, candles, blankets, tea, oh my!) But I’ll just leave you with my few reviews and let you look around their site yourself. . . happy browsing!

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Coffee and scripts and improv games–drama season is upon us!

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