CheckedTwice news and updates

Our Big List of Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Don’t forget the stocking stuffers!

Great Stocking Stuffer Ideas

We’re two weeks from Christmas now – we hope CheckedTwice has helped make your shopping a breeze! If you’re the type to leave stocking stuffers until after the main shopping is done – here is a big list of stocking stuffer ideas to power you through to a totally completed Christmas shopping season! Once all of the shopping is out of the way you’ll have more time to spend with friends and family enjoying the season so move along and wrap it up!

Did we miss any of your favorites? If so, add them in the comments!

Art Things

–          Coloring books

–          Crayons

–          Markers

–          Colored pencils

–          Tracing paper

–          Dry erase markers

–          Chalk

–          Paint brushes

–          Finger paint

Makeup & Personal Appearance Things

–          Chapstick, lip gloss or lipstick

–          Mascara

–          Nail polish

–          Hair ties or bows

–          Body lotion

–          Bath bubbles

–          Hair brush or comb

–          Oil absorbing sheets

–          Pocket sized Kleenex packs

–          Nail clippers

–          Makeup brushes


–          Candy: all kinds!

–          EmergenC packets

–          Oranges

–          Hot sauce


–          Leatherman tool or Swiss Army knife

–          Allen wrench set

–          Phone case

–          Phone chargers

–          Change purse

–          Card wallet

–          Reusable coffee mug

–          Reusable water bottle

–          Bookmark

–          Sewing kit

–          Hand and foot warmers

–          Thumb drive

–          Lens wipes

–          Reusable shopping bags

–          Reusable snack and sandwich bags

–          USB car chargers

–          Mini flashlight

–          Mini measuring tape

–          Travel power adapters

–          WD-40 Pen

–          Tide Stain Stick

–          Herb scissors

–          Mini first aid kids

–          Tire air pressure gauges

–          Emergency car escape tools

Winter Wear

–          Scarf

–          Hat

–          Gloves or mittens

–          Slippers

–          Pajamas


–          Mini liquor bottles

–          Shot glass  or set of shot glasses

–          Koozie

–          Disposable flask

–          Pocket shots

–          Whiskey rocks

–          Corkcicle wine chiller

–          Wine monkey

–          Novelty cocktail napkins

–          Drink tags

–          Bottle opener

–          Bottle stopper

–          Wine opener

 Fun for Kids or Adults

–          Emergency Clown Nose

–          Crazy socks

–          Silly putty

–          Stickers

–          Animal finger puppets

–          A yo-yo

–          Tornado Tube

–          Mini Etch-a-Sketch

–          Balsa Wood Airplanes

–          DVD

–          Dominoes

–          Juggling balls

–          Golf balls

–          Ski or snowboard wax

–          Personalized home address stamp

–          Pez & Pez Dispensers

–          Kaleidoscope

–          Action figure

–          Bubbles

–          Astronaut Ice Cream

–          Glow in the dark ceiling stars

–          A puppy

–          Kidding, just wanted to see if you’re paying attention

–          Board books

–          Play dough

–          Teething ring

–          Bib

–          Field notes notebook

–          Oreo holders

–          Magnetic alphabet set

–          Googly eye stickers

–          Harmonica

–          Kazoo

–          Recorder

MISC. Other Ideas!

–          Magazines

–          Lottery scratch tickets

–          Matches

–          Personalized luggage tag

–          Personalized home address stamp

–          Incense

–          Decorative soap

–          Tea infuser

–          Scented candles

–          Washi tape

–          Personalized notepad

–          Key chain

Flickr User Randy Pertiet
Flickr User Randy Pertiet


Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

We’ve all seen the gorgeous trees on Pinterest and in our favorite catalogs – but do you struggle with getting the same effect on your own trees? Did you know, there is a strategy for decorating your tree? There is! Whether you’re trying to recreate an inspiring model tree or just looking to spruce up your family’s traditional look – you’re sure to have a lovely result by following some of these quick Christmas tree decorating tips!

Once you’ve chosen the perfect tree, watered it, and steadily secured it in your home:

  1. First, the lights! Use lights that are on a strand that matches the color of your tree. For most people and lights, green will work – though if you’re doing a white tree, make sure your lights are on a white strand. Wrap them around the tree, keeping them evenly spaced from one level to the next. And don’t skimp! As a guide, you should use 100 small lights for every vertical foot of tree – but adjust as necessary if you’re using larger bulbs.
  2. Next – garland (or anything else that will wrap around the tree). Start at the top and gently lay the garland toward the ends of the branches. If using something small, like beads, you can wrap them from branch to branch for a swooping effect. With bigger garlands,  aim to wrap them around the tree itself. Check out some of these great garland ideas for inspiration. Garland-making is a great activity for kids!
  3. Finally, the fun: add the ornaments! Keep your largest ornaments on the bottom third of the tree and gradually decrease them in size as you make your way up. If you have any family favorites, position them on the part of the tree that will be seen the most.
  4. The final details – any last items that enhance the overall look of the tree or fill in empty spots such as individual bows or candy canes. Stand back from the tree and add your little fillers in any areas that look like they need a little more love.
  5. And the topper! The tree isn’t finished til it has your family’s favorite topper. If you haven’t settled on a favorite yet – here are some ideas!

If you decorate your tree as a family or as part of a party, we recommend completing steps 1 and 2 ahead of time to allow everyone to plow straight in to the best part. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself – your tree doesn’t have to look like a Pinterest masterpiece or a page in Martha Stewart Living to be meaningful and loved by your family, friends and guests. Have fun and make it your own! And when it is time to take everything down – stay organized by simply reversing the order above. Store items separately by step so that it will be easy to get started next year.

We’d love to see your trees – share a pic with us on our Facebook page!

Introducing the CheckedTwice Mobile App!

We’ve got  more big news to share! In addition to the recent release of the CheckedTwice bookmarklet, we’re also excited to introduce the CheckedTwice mobile app! Available  for both iOS and Android, the CheckedTwice mobile app makes it super easy to add items that you encounter in the real world to your CheckedTwice wishlists.

Click here to download for iOS

Click here to download for Android

The app allows you to add gifts in three ways.

App 2

First, you can take a picture of an item, add a description, and place it on your wishlist (or that of another family member).

Another option is to scan the item’s bar code which will automagically pull up the item’s picture and information that can then be added to a wishlist.

The third option is to simply create a gift (without a picture) to add to your wishlist.

From within the app, you’ll also be able to access your family member’s wishlists to have with you while shopping. You can claim gifts while on-the-go to prevent duplicate gifts and you’ll also have access to your shopping list while shopping to help you stick to your budget.

We hope that you enjoy using our new app this Christmas and find that it helps make your gift exchange easier and more organized. Happy Gifting!

Frequently Asked Questions

As the holiday season gets into full swing, we’re fielding questions from new CheckedTwice users. We do have some frequently asked questions within our application, but in an effort to get some of these answers out to more people, we thought we’d share them on the blog. So, we present to you – Frequently Asked Questions About CheckedTwice! And if we’ve missed something, please ask in a comment or send an email to and we’ll get back to you!


How do I add a gift to my wishlist?

To add a gift to your wishlist, click on the “Add Gift” button.

You will be presented with three different ways to add a gift. They are:

Find it on Amazon: Type in what you’re looking for and we’ll serve you search results directly from Amazon. Click on the item that matches what you’re looking for and then click ‘Add this Gift’ on the gift preview on the right.

Build from a Link: You can add a gift from anywhere on the web by using the item’s link. Copy the item’s URL from your browser bar and paste it into the “Paste your link here”  field. We’ll try to fetch an image for you as well – click the best image from that page, give your gift a good name and click ‘Add this Gift’ on the gift preview on the right.

Add without a Link: This is an option if you want to add an offline item or don’t want to be super specific. Give your gift a name and a good description, e.g. A Red Sweater, Size Medium, or World Peace… for all the people of the Earth. When you’re happy with the name and description, click ‘Add this Gift’ on the gift preview on the right.


How do I add a gift to someone else’s wishlist?

There are two different ways to add a gift to someone else’s wishlist – one will show that you’ve suggested the idea for them and the other will keep the gift a surprise.

To Suggest a Gift: When viewing the recipient’s wishlist, click the red button at the top that says “Suggest a Gift” and you will see the same screen that you see when adding a gift to your own wishlist. Find the desired gift on Amazon or create it yourself and then click “Add to Wishlist”. The gift will be added to their wishlist and the rest of the family will see that it is a suggested gift.

To Add a Surprise Gift: When viewing the recipient’s wishlist, click the red button at the top that says “Add a Surprise” and you will see the same screen that you see when adding a gift to your own wishlist. Find the desired gift on Amazon or create it yourself and then click “Add to Wishlist”. The recipient will not be able to see this gift but the rest of the family will. Use this power wisely!


What does it mean to claim a gift? FAQ_claim

If you claim a gift, you are telling the rest of the family “don’t worry, I’ve got this!” and everyone will know not to also buy the gift. It is a way of avoiding duplicate gifts and also encourages collaborative gifts – for example if you see that someone else has claimed an Xbox, maybe you could surprise the Xbox recipient with an Xbox accessory or game.


How do I claim a gift?

When viewing someone’s wishlist, to claim a gift, hover your mouse over the item you would like to claim and click “Claim” in the upper right corner. That’s it! And don’t worry, if you claim a gift, the recipient won’t be able to tell. Their wishlist will look the same as always to them.


How do I create an account for a child?

The ability to create accounts for children is something that sets CheckedTwice apart from other family gift registries. To create an account for a child:

– Click on your name in the top right corner of the window and then go down the menu and select “My Settings”

– On the Account Details page, in the lower left, click on “Add New Dependent” under Dependent Accounts

– From there, you’ll be able to add a name and birthday to the new account and once it is created you will have the ability to add and remove gifts.

And keep in mind, dependent accounts aren’t only for children – you can use them for anyone in your family who may not take the time to create their own wishlist but the rest of the family will be buying for nonetheless (think grandparents or lazy husbands).

Once you’ve added the account, don’t forget to add them to the family. In the left navigation, you’ll see the name of the newly added account. Click their name. Then on the right side, you can add them to all the families you’re in.


Will the recipient know when I have claimed something?

Nope! We want to make sure fun surprises are kept intact so the recipient is unable to see which gifts have been claimed for them. The rest of the family will be able to see, though, so that there aren’t any duplicate gifts.


How do I share my wishlist? 

Once you’ve added some items to your wishlist and are ready to share it, click on the red “Share Wishlist” button. You’ll go through a series of prompts to invite family members (or the members of whatever group you’d like to create) via email. As they join, they will be able to see your wishlist.

If you’ve already invited some people, but need to add others, click on the blue Invite Others link at the top of the page. You’ll be able to add more people to an existing family, or create a new family for the in-laws.


Can I share my wishlist with the public?

CheckedTwice specializes in family sharing. But you decide who’s family. Because we keep track of what gifts have been claimed for you, you can’t just share a link. Sorry. But you can email anyone to join a group or an occasion. They don’t have to have an account to see your list, but they do have to have an account to share their list back with you.


Can I add another group of people to my family? 

Yes! To add another group of people (like your immediate family on your in-laws side), click on the blue “Invite Others” button in the top right. In the box that pops up, choose the second option, “Add New Family” and invite members the same way as you did initially. These two groups will not be able to see each other’s wishlists, but you’ll be able to work within both as the common link.

If you want them all to be in the same group, you’ll still click on “Invite Others” but instead you’ll choose the first option, “Add Members,” and add additional people to the family you’ve already started.

Introducing the CheckedTwice “Want It!” Button

It was already pretty easy to add a gift from anywhere on the web to your CheckedTwice wishlist – all you had to do was copy and paste the link into our Add A Gift screen. But now – we’ve made it even easier!

Introducing: the CheckedTwice “Want It!” button! Similar to the Pinterest “Pin It” button, this little bookmarklet will allow you to quickly add an item to your wishlist without breaking your browsing flow.

Here’s how to install the button to your browser’s toolbar. First, visit Next, drag the big red “Want It!” button up to your browser’s bookmark bar. And then… well, that’s it! You’re good to go! When you happen upon a product you’d like to add – just click the “Want It!” button in your browser bar and choose an appropriate image – and voila, it is on your wishlist! CheckedTwice Want It Button

We hope using the “Want It!” button will help make your holiday gift-giving and receiving even easier!


CheckedTwice Featured on KTRK ABC13 News!

ktrk_abc13_houstonLast week, Andrew sat down with Patricia Lopez of ABC13 in Houston to talk about Christmas, holiday planning, and CheckedTwice. The segment aired twice yesterday to rave reviews so we wanted to share it here for anyone who missed it or for those not fortunate enough to live in Houston.  Click here to see the video and read a bit of Patricia’s report.

Many thanks to Patricia Lopez and KTRK for sharing our story – we hope it’ll help people get ahead of their holiday planning and to stay within their holiday budgets!

Wrapping Gifts Without Wrapping Paper

Are you looking for some creative ways to wrap gifts this Christmas without buying more wrapping paper? Well you’re in luck – there are lots of great options! Whether you want to keep the tearable paper experience or are wanting to shake things up entirely – the internet has no shortage of ideas!

Here are some items that you may see around the house or in your travels in the next few weeks that you can gather up to have on-hand when you need them. These options will still give the sensation of wrapping paper but are non-traditional in style.


Paper grocery bags or paper lunch bags

Sheet music


Coloring book or word search pages

Tin foil? You can try it but maybe that is best left to breakfast burritos.

Wrapping a gift simply with one of the above and adding some great bows, ribbons, washi tape or stamps can make a beautiful gift without traditional wrapping paper. There are also some options that don’t involve paper at all:

Tea towels or a scarf

Shoe boxes


Clay pots

And don’t forget to check your supply of gift bags you’ve received – many of us keep them only to forget that we have them when we need them. You can use them as bags again or cut them into paper to use to wrap with.

Another quick tip: you can reuse  last year’s Christmas cards to make gift tags – just cut the card up into the shape you desire and punch a hole in it and voila! A festive gift tag to accompany your gift.

Here’s some inspiration from Pinterest:
Follow Easy Gift Wrap by CheckedTwice on Pinterest

CheckedTwice Featured on Cool Mom Tech!

Cool Mom Tech is a fantastic blog for moms who want to stay on top of all the latest gadgets, apps, and technologies designed with moms and families in mind. Here’s how they describe the blog:


Cool Mom Tech is the intersection of tech and style, of parenting, practicality and fabulosity, brought to you by the same moms behind the influential shopping and design site, Cool Mom Picks. Plus a few more who really know their tech stuff. 

We’re not techies who parent, we’re moms who use tech in our everyday lives. Same as you. Same as millions of mothers who are online every day. 

We’re on Facebook, we’re on Twitter. We’re sharing photos, managing money, finding design inspiration, texting our kids. As parents, we want items that keep us organized, keep us stylish, keep our kids safe, keep life fun. We want services and apps that make us think, how did we ever live without that? And we want to know what other moms think is cool–not some 22 year-old guy.” 

With a description like that, you can see why we were thrilled to have been included in a post on their site last week! They even said we may be smarter than all the other gift lists and registry sites – well thanks! A few more excerpts from their writeup:

“The automatic image upload is great so that generous friends and family can actually visualize that specific set of headphones you want in the very color you want them.”

“This could be the year that Grandma asks what the kids want and you are actually ready with answers.”

To read the full post, click here.  And to follow up on the Etsy issue they found and mentioned, we’ve fixed it – you’re good to go! Happy Gifting on Etsy and beyond!

Coordinating Gift Giving: How CheckedTwice Compares to Other Solutions

Gift registries are not a new concept and most people are familiar with how they work – especially in the context of a wedding or baby shower. Lately, gift registries have expanded onto the web and beyond their traditional shower occasions to be used for all types of gifting. How do the different options compare?

While your typical registry is an individual’s list of items that they want or need and is shared with many people, CheckedTwice is different. We focus on being a gifting solution for families – which means that the wishlists are shared interchangeably between members of the group. Instead of a one-sided exchange, the wishing and giving go both ways. Less about a list of needs, CheckedTwice wishlists function as a quick way to more efficiently shop for others and easily determine a gift that is guaranteed to be a hit. We’ve got the best family gift registry site on the web and here are a few ways in which we are different from other common gift organization solutions.

When it comes to coordinating gift giving, options include Amazon wishlists, group emails, other registry sites, or simple pen and paper lists.  These options all allow sharing a wishlist with a group – but not all will allow the open exchange of the other party’s (or the rest of the family’s) wishlist back to the sender. For example, there is no reciprocity with an Amazon wishlist – if Steve shares his wishlist with Jane, that is great, but he can’t see Jane’s list unless she sends it to him. And their grandparents, aunts, and uncles all lack access until Steve shares it with them directly. With CheckedTwice, everyone can see what everyone else wants from one place.

A common reservation to using a registry is that it will take surprises out of an occasion. If a person creates a wishlist – they can expect to receive gifts that they have selected and some will even show them what has been purchased. But with CheckedTwice, we offer the ability to add surprise gifts to the wishlists of others – so the rest of the family will see them and be aware but the recipient will not be able to see them. This can lead to some really fun collaborative surprises – read a post about that by clicking here. Even when gifts are claimed by other family members, the recipient will not be the wiser.

In addition to surprise gifts, we offer children’s accounts that can be managed by their parents. This means even the very youngest family members can have wishlists as determined by their parents that will match their age, development, and interests. This makes it much easier for extended family to choose appropriate gifts for those that they don’t get to see very often. It also keeps parents from coordinating between different sides of the family on who will buy what.

One other unique benefit to using CheckedTwice is that unclaimed gifts will stay with the user’s wishlists as an occasion passes. If Steve doesn’t get a new bike helmet for Christmas, the helmet stays on his wishlist beyond December so when his birthday rolls around at the beginning of February, he doesn’t have to repopulate his list with items that fell off after Christmas and his family will know what to get him.

These features, coupled with the standard benefits of using registries like avoiding duplicate gifts and easily choosing gifts your recipient is sure to love help make CheckedTwice the best family gift registry site for Christmas. Be your family’s holiday hero and get started today!

Save Time Using a Family Gift Registry

And have more time to enjoy the holidays!

Christmas should be the most wonderful time of the year – and parts of it are. But increasingly the joys of the holiday season are being overshadowed by stress, aggravation, and fatigue. As people strive to create perfect events for their families and friends they are often overwhelmed with the amount of effort associated with the logistics and planning of it all. One of the most frustrating aspects of Christmas can be buying gifts – not knowing what to buy for multiple people leads to hours of wasted time spent browsing – hoping that the perfect gift will appear and identify itself. 1381868302_xmas_sticker-06

Wouldn’t it be great if you could see exactly what each member of your family wanted for Christmas? And for their birthday? And for any other gift-giving occasion throughout the year? Well, you can! The solution is to use a family gift registry like CheckedTwice and you will save time and effort buying gifts – leaving more time for the more important parts of Christmas like spending time with family and friends.

And on the other side of the coin – that feeling when you open a gift and it’s… meh. Or worse – a bad gift. It is awkward, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be better if there were a way to casually mention a few things that you are interested in to demonstrate your tastes and interests to relatives and friends? CheckedTwice helps with that, too.

And gift-givers, did you know that people are more appreciative of gifts that come from a wishlist? It’s true! Because… science. Really! Read “Give them what they want: The benefits of explicitness in gift exchange,” an article published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

When gift givers are able to see exactly what recipients want they save time thinking of a gift and sourcing it. Many gifts on CheckedTwice wishlists will link directly to an online retailer where they can be purchased. No more browsing, no more crowded malls, and forget about getting trampled over on Black Friday. Stress free holiday shopping – what could be better? And for gift recipients, even though they added items to their wishlists, they are unable to see what has been purchased – so surprises remain. And with the capability of adding surprise gifts to the wishlists of others, there is still always the possibility of an unexpected, awesome gift.

Less gift selection risk, less effort, less time lost shopping – leaves more time and energy for holiday fun!