Gift Ideas for Your Child’s Graduation

Finding a good gift for graduation can be an overwhelming task, and a gift that is both useful and thoughtful can be hard to come by. Below is a list of 14 graduation gift ideas for the upcoming graduate.

  1. Money

This is the most popular gift to give graduates around the world. Writing a check and giving it to the graduate is often the easiest way to give. In fact, this is one of the most wanted gifts by graduates.

  1. Gift cards

Another option to writing a check is giving a gift card. This ensures that the money is being spent on something useful. Grocery store gift cards to gas gift cards to clothing cards can all come in handy, whether it’s for the high school graduate heading to college or the college graduate heading into the professional world.

  1. Tablet

This can make a wonderful gift, especially for a high school graduate, as it can help with the college load. This can condense textbooks and notebooks from each class. Notes can be taken, tests can be studied, and digital textbooks can be downloaded all on to a tablet.

  1. Laptop

Any graduate can use a laptop computer, but especially high school grads who are college bound. These devices can help with note taking, papers, projects, and much more. The convenience of a laptop as opposed to a clunky desktop computer is one of its most alluring benefits.

  1. Dorm Room Furnishings

Giving the gift of furniture or decorative items for a dorm room can help the high school graduate save money for when the big move comes around. Bulletin boards, posters, bookcases, trunks, picture frames, and much more can be a great idea for any graduate.

  1. Watch

An old standby for a good graduation gift is a watch. Watches can be engraved to make the gift extra special for the graduate. Whether for the high school or college grad, a watch is a sign of a new level of maturity and responsibility. As an added bonus, it can help the grad be on time for class or a new job.

  1. Gift Basket

This is something akin to a care package. For graduates who are about to make a big move, a gift basket of necessary items can be a tremendous help.  Pack anything from dryer sheets and laundry detergent to toothpaste, soap, shampoo, floss, lotions, disposable razors, and many other items the graduate may not think of.

  1. Clothing

Often times graduates heading to college want to look part of the other students on campus. A gift that can help with the fitting in process is clothing. Maybe the graduate has a favorite television show or music group or movie that is popular, and there is apparel designed for that specific interested, such as this popular Game of Thrones hoodie.


  1. Camera

Graduation is one of those times when everyone wants to remember the memories being made; giving the gift of a camera can be a good way to capture those moments. Phones are popular for this, but instant cameras are gaining in popularity once again.

  1. Headphones

Headphones can be a great addition to a graduate’s repertoire. Studies have shown that listening to classical music can help a person retain information, making it a good option when studying for tests or getting ready for interviews. It also helps students to tune out distractions that could make studying harder.

  1. Bike

Bikes have become a good suggestion for gift giving when students are heading off to college.  It is a great form of exercise and is a very efficient way to traverse the campus or run errands.

  1. Prepaid Phone Cards

This is a good way for students to stay in touch with family members or friends all over the world. Graduates find this helpful if the cell phone being used is on a restricted plan.

  1. Backpack

A brand new backpack for a brand new schooling adventure is a good gifting idea. Giving a quality pack to the college-bound grad can ensure that heavy textbooks, laptops and tablets can be transported safely around campus.

  1. Mini Toolbox

A small toolkit can be a lifesaver for any student living away from home for the first time. A toolkit can be helpful with minor repairs or assembling furniture. These types of toolkits can be found at any hardware store.

15.  Light Up Shoes
Light ups shoes are once again back in style. These days they glow in 7 different neon LED colors, light up with multiple flashing settings and are also USB rechargeable with a 6 hour battery life. No doubt, a pair of ‘Light Ups’ certainly make for a cool gift for high school graduates.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

More Posts

4 Critical Tips To Prepare Your Kids For Your RV Trip


Photo Credit

As a mother, even if you’re looking forward to your next family RV road or camping trip, you’re most certainly not looking forward to preparing for that trip. And as the mom of the family, the bulk of the preparation may fall on you.

Here are four critical tips to prepare your kids for your RV trip:

1 – Have Them Pack One Bag Each

RV’s may come loaded with lots of storage space, but that doesn’t mean that space is limitless. Here’s a word of advice: give each of your kids a backpack, and tell them that they can bring whatever they want. But there’s just one condition: everything they bring has to be able to fit in that backpack. This will be one of the best things you can do to help save space.

2 – Bring Your Tablet

If you’ve got a long way to go to your planned destination, chances are pretty good that your kids are going to get bored along the way. To this end, keep your tablet(s) fully charged before the trip so they can keep themselves entertained during the long drive. Have games and movies ready to go, and plan your trip accordingly so you can re-charge the devices during stops.

3 – Brace Yourself For Rainy Days

Even if the weather forecast is bright and sunny for the week of your RV vacation, you must still prepare yourself for a rainy day.

To this end, bring proper rain gear and a variety of indoor games and activities to keep your kids entertained while it’s raining outside. Sticker books, card games, crafts, crayons and paper, and so on will be the usual suspects. At the same time, only you know your kids, so bring what yu think is appropriate.

4 – Give Your Kids Responsibilities

Even though preparing for an RV trip is likely going to be stressful for you, it will be the direct opposite for your kids. Not only will they be excited at the thought of the future trip, they can also have fun helping you get ready for it to.

This is why you will want to keep them involved in the planning process somehow, and the best way to do this is ultimately to give them responsibilities such as giving them tasks to do before and during the trip, going shopping for food with them (and allowing them to pick food items), and sitting down around the dinner table to plan out the trip together as a family.

Also ask your kids for their input on places they would like to visit the most, and they should be more than willing to tell you want they think.

Getting Ready For Your RV Trip 

What’s important to remember when preparing for your RV trip is to keep your kids fully involved in the process with what you pack, what you eat, what you’ll do, and so on.







I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

More Posts



The Avenues Mall invites the community to a “Muppet Babies”-themed Disney Junior Play Date event. Aimed to entertain and delight children ages 18 months to 3 years old, the event will take place on March 31 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Premiering March 23, Disney Junior’s reimagined “Muppet Babies” chronicles the hilarious playroom antics of the young Kermit the Frog, Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and brand-new Muppet Baby, Summer Penguin. Under the watchful eye of Miss Nanny, the Muppet Babies use their imaginations to embark on countless adventures that take them to the farthest corners of the universe and demonstrate to young viewers the power and potential of imaginative play.

During the “Muppet Babies”-themed Disney Junior Play Date event, families will participate in a variety of activities including a Color Bingo Game, craft projects, balloon art and more. The fun starts at 10 a.m. near Center Court behind Starbucks. This event does not include live character appearances.

In October 2017, Simon announced its exciting new family programming collaboration with Disney Junior, which includes the Disney Junior Play Dates, ongoing events taking place throughout the year at 100 shopping centers across the country. The Disney Junior Play Dates events will be featured throughout the year and include on-mall activities around Holiday, Easter and other seasonal celebrations.

About The Avenues 

The Avenues is Jacksonville’s premier family shopping destination. A multi-level indoor center offering 1.1 million square-feet of shopping, The Avenues is home to 5 anchor stores including Belk, Dillard’s, Forever 21, JCPenney and Sears, plus more than 150 of the most exciting specialty retailers in Northeast Florida. Discover your favorite shopping and dining destinations including Aldo, BoxLunch, Buffalo Wild Wings, bareMinerals, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Brookstone, Crazy 8, Foot Locker, H&M, LOFT, LUSH, MAC Cosmetics, New York & Company, Sketchers, Victoria’s Secret and more. The mall is conveniently located off I-95 at the intersection of Philips Highway (US1) and Southside Boulevard. Visit us Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m. For additional information, please visit or call 904-363-3054.

About Simon

Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development and a S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our industry-leading retail properties and investments across North America, Europe and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual sales. For more information, visit


My name is MJ. I have two wonderful children and work part time as well as volunteer at my children's school.

More Posts

Mary Poppins Returns



In the sequel, which arrives in theatres this Christmas, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

MARY POPPINS RETURNS stars Emily Blunt as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure; Lin-Manuel Miranda as her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London; Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; and Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. The film also introduces three new Banks’ children played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and newcomer Joel Dawson. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.








Follow Walt Disney Studios on Twitter:

Follow Walt Disney Studios on Instagram:

MARY POPPINS RETURNS arrives in theatres everywhere on December 25, 2018!


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

More Posts

Serve up some Old-Fashioned Caramel Cinnamon Rolls for your Valentine on Valentine’s Day!! #PremierProtein

Old-Fashioned Caramel Cinnamon Rolls


Makes 9 Buns



2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (or 1 packet)

1 cup Premier Protein® Caramel Shake warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop to about (110° F), or warm to touch but not boiling

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus additional for greasing bowl and pan, melted

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading and rolling out

1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon


1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon Premier Protein® Caramel Shake



In medium bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1 cup warm Premier Protein® Caramel Shake and stir to combine. Let sit for 3 minutes. Then stir in 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg and mix until well until combined. Gradually add in flour, stirring after each addition. Once dough is no longer too sticky to handle, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 3 to 5 minutes to make moderately soft dough. Shape dough into a ball.

Place dough in lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until size has doubled (about 1 hour). Punch dough down, cover and let rise again for 1 additional hour. Punch dough down. Grease an 8 x 8-inch glass or metal baking dish and set aside.

Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in separate bowl. On lightly floured surface roll dough into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Brush about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining butter evenly over the dough using a pastry brush. Sprinkle 2/3 of the cinnamon sugar mixture over.

Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut dough into 9 even 12-inch strips. Roll up each strip tightly, sealing the end by pressing it into the dough. Arrange rolls in prepared pan. Pour remaining butter over the buns, then sprinkle remaining cinnamon and sugar on top. Let rise, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. While cooling the rolls slightly, prepare glaze. Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and Premier Protein® Caramel Shake in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle rolls with glaze. Serve warm.



My name is MJ. I have two wonderful children and work part time as well as volunteer at my children's school.

More Posts