Summer with Talbots

Summer Styles from Tuckernuck

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Books and Boardgames Gift Guide

Welcome to my last post of 2022.  I don't know about you but this year flew by for me.  This year has been kind to us. Our biggest blessing is having our #1 and Adorable Jonathon back in Texas. I love having all my chickadees within driving distance.

Here's a birdseye view of what I am up against in Emptynesterville.  My friend Lori dropped off this delicious box of Godiva chocolates.  Evidently, the Mister has been snacking on them. He then did his best to cover up his crime.

Just another day in Paradise.

Did anyone see SNL last weekend?  It was one of the best, featuring Steve and Marty.  If you missed it, here's a clip of the opening.

I also turned the Mister on to my favorite grumpy designer, Jeff Lewis.  His new show is very entertaining.

We finished The White Lotus.  I found the finale disturbing.  The only bright spot happened at the conclusion of the episode.  It featured the only amiable characters in the whole show.

We watched the finale of  The Cleaning Ladyand I am not happy.  That's all I'm saying.

We're also watching George and Tammy.  Stellar acting but so depressing.  Not for holiday time.  Save it for the cheerful month of January.

Yesterday, the Mister and I snuck off to a movie.
He chose The Menu.
He says: 
An entertaining satire.
She says:
  A violent, gory horror flick 
The Mister doesn't get to choose another movie until 2025. 

 On to some fun things to gift in the books and board game category.

I eyed this set in a gift shop.
A great way to store your favorite games on bookshelves.
I would buy a set for our house if the Mister wasn't such a sore loser.

This is a great way to bring your game up a few notches.

This logical thinking puzzle pits 2 players against each other as they battle to build castles on the game board.

Not sure this one is for me.
It lost me at logical.

Sagrada is a thought-provoking, wonderfully fun board game for the entire family that looks stunning on the table.

This is not for a family like ours that has a don't ask, don't tell policy. 


The game where great minds think alike.
Well, that leaves me out.

This game is designed for all the people who insist on posting their Wordle score on Instagram.


Talent not required?

This game was made for my family!

I told you!
And if I told you that this was the best of the bunch, I wouldn't be lying.


This game guarantees laughter and creative storytelling.

Your kid may have written a prize-winning essay, but can he/she write a decent ransom note?

I suggest playing this one with friends as opposed to family members.  Relatives tend to be more candid.  At least, that goes for my family.

A deck of cards with personality.

If you can't have a Christmas romance, why not make your own?

I never thought I would adapt to reading on a screen but now I love the convenience of it.

And throw in a cute cover.

For the person that goes out of his/her way to visit a new bookstore.

Does your favorite reader need more light in his/her life?


Calling all Grandparents...
you've got some reading to do.

For the new Dad or for the old Dad that needs to refresh his material.

For the person looking for more leverage in his/her life.


You will be the envy of all your book club buds.

My Favorite Fiction 2022

had to wait until December to find my favorite book of 2022.

This is one of Elin's best.

Jodi Picoult just keeps getting better.

Although this book centers around the courts, it is really about love.
Pun intended. 


I am not pushing this book because I modeled for the cover.
It is solid suspense.

If you are having some trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, this series will certainly help you find the magic.

Non Fiction

I highly recommend the audio version of these books.

The Mister's 2022 Faves

The Mister got a recommendation from my buddy, Annie, who mentioned it in our My Favorite Reader series.


For the multi-tasking reader.

Throw in the board with the book, and you will be the host's favorite guest.


This guy always makes me smile.
Give to the person who enjoys food, travel, and humor.


The Mister loves this show.


Great recipes are guaranteed in this blogger's cookbook.

For the new empty-nesters or anyone else who enjoys domestic travel.

Calling all Chip and Joanna fans.

One of my favorite designer's new book.

Another talented designer
I post a lot of his photos on Insta.

Grandma would be very flattered.


Words that I will never hear uttered from my children's lips. 



Cats AND Crafts?
The ultimate gift for the cat lady in your life.

I wonder if there is an instruction manual for red hair crafts.
#askingfora friend 

Lastly, I want to wish all my sweet friends in Blogland a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a healthy Happy New Year.  I appreciate all of your kind words and support over the years.

Need some hostess gift inspo?
You can find it here and here.
Need some gift ideas for the cook in your life?
Click here.
How about the Millennial in your life?
Or your Bestie?
Or your gadget and gizmo buddy?
You can also find my most popular Amazon products sold through the blog here.

See you next year!

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. Happy holidays to you and your family Katie! And a wonderful 2023!

  2. That SNL clip was priceless! Enjoy your Christmas and everyone will look forward to the New Year on your blog!

  3. I've never commented before - just want to say I so enjoy your humor and content. Also, you look exactly the same as you did in the picture of your family from years ago! Happy Holidays!

    1. Thank you Jeannine for your kind comment. I am pretty sure that your compliment is going to be one of my favorite gifts this season. Happy holidays to you!

  4. Another wonderful round up of gift ideas. Many thanks for your blog.
    Merry, Merry Christmas Katie & the Mister.
    See you next year!
    m in HI

    1. Hi M! Thanks so much for leaving such kind comments. Have a wonderful Holiday!

  5. I love that Kindle cover!

  6. Thanks Katie! I gave that Charcuterie book to my daughter for her birthday and she loved it! She just had a party and asked everyone to bring a different themed charcuterie board and gave a prize to the winner. I'm hoping to post about it soon. Have a very Merry Christmas, so glad your whole family is back close by!

  7. I just bought 5 games...we have a packed house over the holidays. This should keep everyone out of trouble. We needed some fresh games. Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas... I hope that your family members are better sports than mine!

  8. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for all your wonderful posts! I’m loving all the Gary McAvoy series! Candace

    1. The Mister is too. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  9. Hmmm, I can't change my name either. Oh well, I love your blog and your humor. I ordered the compressor off the gadgets list for my son (exactly what I had been looking for) and enjoy your book recommendations as well!

    1. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! So glad you found the perfect gift for your son.

  10. So many great ideas here. I haven't picked my favorite book for 2022, but I'm pretty sure the octopus book will be my number one. I liked season one of White Lotus, but am skipping season 2 based on all the mixed reviews I'm hearing. I can't believe the Mister took you to the Menu! Thanks for all the recommendations. Merry Christmas!

  11. Merry Christmas to you and family! Thanks for always making me laugh!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great holiday!

  12. HI Katie, Okay the comment section does not like my URL. Sharing your gameboards posts on the Weekend Edit this Saturday! I read the book Cleaning Lady and did not watch the show. I am reading Winter Solstice for book club .. only 15 more hours of audible. I am waiting for a comment about my ice mold cometh from my sister. Merry Christmas friend! I am off to my realtor support group happy hour ;0) You are the best ...xo laura

  13. Always fun, Katie!! I haven't watched the George & Tammy show but they did use to live here in Lakeland. Their house recently sold for $1.2million. We would see George (later years) driving in town. Red car, license GEORGE. Hard to miss. Have a very merry Christmas! Enjoy the kids and the season!! xo

  14. Wonderful post, I watch the Cleaning lady, haven’t seen the finale yet.thanks for the heads up about George and Tammy. The family awkward photo reminds me when I got a short curly perm. Merry Christmas sweet friend.


  16. Hey, Katie, check out many of the series are reviewed and given heat indexes from 1 to 5. Miss Marple is a one. He also includes a lot of Christmas movies and series. One of the best is the vicar from Delby with Dawn French. She’s fantastic. Check it out!

    1. I love Dawn French! I will pass it on to my Director of Entertainment otherwise known as The Mister.

  17. I am here for it all! And that throwback made me smile dear Katie! Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your precious family!

  18. Oh, Katie ... this post is a revelation! Jeff Lewis is back?! How did I not know? I should be packing for our trip instead I'm going to binge watch. Love your family throw back photos ... and all these game and book ideas. Merry Christmas! xo Juliet


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