Christmas Countdown: 9 Baby Gifts

Christmas Countdown :: Babies :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWB

1. Manhattan Toy Bird House $20.99 | This is one of my favorite toy brands. When Zoe was an itty bitty she received a very similar dog house set that has since been retired, but I’m really feeling this bird house! Zoe and Ari loved filling and emptying the house over and over and these plush little animals are safely sized for teething.

2. Christmas Board Book $4.27 | Both of our babes have enjoyed this brightly colored book featuring big color pops of holiday decor. It’s built tough and ready to be dragged around the tree a few dozen times.

3. Freshly Picked Moccasins $60 | They come in so many colors, work for baby boys and girls, and are the best of the best for leather moccs. Zoe and Ari each have a pair and I love that they are super comfy and match nearly any outfit. And for some reason they work for a stretch of 3+ sizes. Zoe’s size 8s still fit so well even though she’s grown to a size 10. Worth the investment!

4. Jellycat Puppy $22.50 | This guy is just calling out for all the snuggles. A good bet for a go-to bed buddy or a friendly addition to an awesome stuffed animal collection. He’s on Ari’s list!

5. Mushroom Rattles $12.95 | Well they’re just so darn cute, right? Ari has always been partial to toys that make noise when shaken… and possibly a bit disappointed when he shakes and gets silence. Adorable, noisy rattles for the win!

6. HABA Horse Swing $135.55 | Isn’t this just terrific? You can’t beat an indoor swing…unless it is shaped like a horse. Giddy up, babies!

7. Little People Nativity Set $33.99 | What a great way to start telling the Christmas story to your little babe. Little People (and animals) have a been a big hit with both of my kiddos, so I give an enthusiastic thumbs up to this seasonal set.

8. Pom Pom Stripe Hat $16.95 | Because Santa.

9. Radio Flyer Push Wagon $69.99 | Learning to walk is definitely going to happen and this wagon has two hugely awesome features to make it safe for baby and the furniture– a resist feature and a bumper. Plus Radio Flyer is classic, high quality and super cute. Get that camera ready!

Christmas Countdown: Toddlers

Christmas Countdown :: Toddlers :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWB

1. Corelle Baby Doll $27.99 | This little cutie is the perfect second doll. I’ll be telling you all about the best first doll for babies later on. The other day I mentioned a doll for a slightly older kiddos, but this soft-in-the-middle model is toddler material and ready for snuggles…with the same vanilla goodness. Zoe and Ari each have one and them to pieces. Zoe named her baby Emma and Ari’s is Paul. Sweetest. Thing.

2. Baby Faces Nesting Blocks $19.98 | Stack ’em up and knock ’em down. Repeat. These blocks are a great reminder to toddlers of the many faces and emotions of their younger sibs and serve as a great way to talk about questions like, “Why is baby crying?” Zoe got a set of these when Ari was born from a family friend. She was so fascinated by each expression and played with them constantly for several weeks.

3. Rocking Stallion $69 | Isn’t this just charming? I would not hesitate to keep this sleek ride-on toy in our living room. Such a classic look and definitely heirloom quality.

4. Hape Easel $71.98 | Let’s face it, you need a few bad weather gems to get you through the season, and if your kiddo is into art this easel can take you a long way. Ours is stowed away in the summer, but close to the kitchen once the cold hits. Make it a gift set with drop cloth, paint and brushes.

5. Parum Pum Pum Drum $30.78 | Turn on Rafi, pass out the instruments and get your family jam on. This music kit has all the parts you need to put on a little concert. It’s a go-to in our house and has been for a couple of years now!

6. The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish $9.10 | We adore Deborah Diesen’s Pout-Pout series and littles love their repetitive, silly language. One of our favorites is this one.

7. Bath Crayons $7.90 | Practice letters and shapes, or just got to town scribbling. Our kids love these things, and the crayon wipes away easily. We are also fans of the Hexbug Aquabot for quality tubby time. Just be sure to supervise both well especially if your babe is still putting everything in the mouth.

8. Classic Doodle Board $19.33 | Bring it in the car or to the doctor’s office waiting room. Kids can use it to draw or play games like tic-tac-toe. Mess free, quiet entertainment when you need it!

9. Piggy Purse $17 | Zoe just loves to put tiny toys in purses and bags and bring them with her wherever she goes. This one is absurdly cute. It’s definitely a toddler thing. In fact, if you ever lose your chap stick this should be the first place you check! Take 20% off Peppercorn Kids with code GRATEFUL through 11/26.

10. Play Kitchen $199.99 | So great for imaginative play and will definitely get years of use. And don’t forget to fill it with pots & pans, chef gear, and food! When Zoe go a kitchen for Christmas two years ago from my parents, other family members bought supplemental gifts so she could get cooking right away!

11. Strider Balance Bike $89.99 |  Be sure to grab a helmet for your little rider! Even if you’re in a particular snowy location, your kiddo can still go out on clear days. Waiting for spring is just no fun at all! Go for it!

 

 

Christmas Countdown: Kiddos 3-6 Years Old

Christmas Countdown :: Kiddos Ages 3-6 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWB

1. Waiting is Not Easy $6.35 | We adore the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems (remember the Pigeon books??). This is one of our current favs, but we also recommend this one and this one. But seriously, go nuts and get several because they are all full of excellent lessons and big laughs.

2. Indoor Trampoline $169.99 | This will go down in history as one of the best purchases our family has ever made. Living in Upstate New York means super duper long winters, so with two little kiddos going bonkers for several months straight and our neighborhood park covered in snow, this trampoline is a lifesaver. It is a kid/parent win/win and for sure the Christmas gift that keeps on giving!

3. ABC Mini Cookie Cutter Set $12.95 | These will serve you far beyond sugar cut outs! Think cantaloupe, play dough, jello, you name it…and they can spell their name out with it.

4. Corelle Doll $57.98 | This is our go-to brand for baby dolls for the assured quality and unmatched vanilla scented vinyl skin. I kid you not, these dolls smell like a lit vanilla soy candle for years. Years. It’s awesome. Also in brunette.

5. UNO Card Game $5.47 | I was surprised when I found out that one of Zoe’s three year old friends was already playing UNO. I thought I remembered playing when I was more like eight or nine. But we tried it out with her and she caught on quickly and it has recently become a family favorite for after dinner hang time.

6. Memory Game $15.95 | Well for one it’s a Platinum Oppenheim Award winner, but more practically speaking, it perfect for the time between when you place your order and dinner is served at your favorite family restaurant. It’s simple, fits in a zip lock bag, and the artwork is superb.

7. HABA Building Block Set $74.83 | Not your average set of blocks, right here. Let their creative minds wander as they build the city of their dreams with this vibrantly colored and detailed building set.

8. Piggy Paint Nail Polish $7.99 | This stuff is safe (non-toxic, odorless and hypoallergenic) and comes in a ton of cute colors. Also makes for a cute mini-date: mani/pedi with mama, anyone?

9. Shrinky Dinks Kit $18 | Do you remember these? They are still all the rage in daycare and Pre-K classrooms across the country. And for good reason. So. Much. Fun. Try this fairy one and this vehicle one, too.

 

Christmas Countdown: For the Fitness Enthusiast

Christmas Countdown :: Fitness Enthusiast :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWB1. Zella Wrap $98 65.66 | At a third of it’s normal price, this little number is a steal. Wear it open or buttoned, but always with your thumbs in the thumby-holes!

2. Apple Watch Sport $439 | For the iPhone lover whose Fitbit/Jawbone/Etc. is ready for a serious upgrade.

3. Nike Legend 2.0 Poly Capri $60 | My all time favorite workout leggings. They’re flattering, comfortable, and they stay in place. Love them. More colors for half the price here.

4. Jump Rope $14.97 | If you can’t do anything else, you can do this. Also, good for warm ups.

5. Athleta Chi Tank $39 | I’ll just refer to the tagline, “UNSTINKABLE. Wear it more. Wash it less.”

6. Asics Running Shoes $89.99 | I’m an Asics girl ever since a professional fitting with Fleet Feet. Give them a shot and they’ll treat you right.

7. Gymboss Interval Timer $22.90 | Burpees for how long?

8. Lululemon Ear Warmer $26 | Because frost bite is real and the ears are the first to go!

9. Mark & Graham Monogrammed Yoga Mat $45

…and a couple more ideas to add to the pile:

Christmas Countdown: Favorites from Paisley + Sparrow

Christmas Countdown :: Paisley & Sparrow Favs :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWBI was very lucky this week to offer a giveaway with some pretty extraordinary companies. One of the owners gave me quite a welcomed education on how to gift well. Well in that the gift serves far beyond the recipient. Best part? She doesn’t even realize the impact her shop made on me. But by so carefully crafting her online shop and explaining every item’s PURPOSE, I got a very special reminder of the heart of giving. This one’s for you, Jen!

I’m so delighted to make this introduction, so let’s not waste another minute! Paisley + Sparrow’s shop has a PURPOSE because it has been handcrafted by a survivor of modern day slavery. Owner, Jen Biswas has diligently searched high and low to discover organizations that have “matched her heart for marginalized people,” thus finding the loveliest and most giftable items all curated for your ease and enjoyment. Here are some of my favorite things in her shop:

1. Chevron Gold Necklace $36 | This 22″ charmer would look great with a plain tee on a bold and extroverted gal. Get it for someone who will use it as a conversation piece. It is made by Purpose, whose “jewelry tells a story of hope, strength, and perseverance” in the face of the sex trafficking.

2. Arrow & Copper Wood Journal $22 | Inspire the singer-song writer (or otherwise creative darling) with this intricately carved wood and leather journal by Raven + Lily, who “employs over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages to give them… a real chance to to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families”.

3. Jivana Peony Necklace $40 | Another darling option from the Purpose brand that is work and special event ready! “The word Jivana means life in Hindi. This stunning necklace represents new life and a fresh start for young women rescued from modern day slavery.”

4. Acai Tassel Bracelet $26 | This bracelet was handmade by an artisan in Ecuador employed by Faire Collection, a company “founded to bring sustainable change to impoverished communities in South America.” Give it to your favorite bracelet-stacking girlfriend, because c’mon, who doesn’t love a tassel?

5. Wild Flower & Fern Soap $9 | Hello, soap. Get in my stocking. Also, perfect for office colleagues and babysitters. This vegetable-based shea butter soap makes a lovely little promise: “For every bar purchased, Hand in Hand will donate a bar to help save a child’s life, donate 1 month of clean water to a child in the developing world, and save 50 square feet of rain forest.” Wow.

6. Assefa Scarf $48 | This cotton scarf from the fashionABLE Miriam Collection was handwoven in Ethiopia and named after a woman whose life has been changed because of your purchase. The colors in this scarf tell a story for every season making it perfectly wearable year round. From winter– bare tree branches speckled with new fallen snow, to summer– hunting for shells and rocks on sandy beaches. Nothing like a soft, neutral color palette to keep you cozy.

7. Ashoka Make Up Bag $22 | Another gem from Raven + Lily. This multi-use pouch is made of 100% organic cotton and detailed with the sweetest screen printed pattern. Fill it with favorite desk supplies, toiletries, or other P+S goodies and make this gift into a gift set.

Bonus: If you’re new to Paisley & Sparrow you can take 20% off your order just by signing up for their newsletter. Also, be sure to follow along with @paisleyandsparrow on Instagram for gorgeous photos and encouraging words.

Happy holiday shopping, loves!

But First, Coffee: How to Make Coffee a Legit Gift

Gifting Coffee :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #butfirstcoffee #GWB

A bag of coffee makes a decent gift in a pinch, but add a few more parts and you can give someone a full-on coffee experience. This is what you need:

1. Set of 2 Glass Double Wall Mugs $29.95 | Because you want to see this charming cup of coffee you’ve just crafted  (cheaper option). A set of two also makes your coffee gift set very couple-appropriate (think weddings!).

2. One-Cup Porcelain Pour Over Cone $8.99 | I like it because I don’t have a second cup, or if I do it’s at the office… so I only make a pot when we have company at the house. Plus I was never a barista and so this is how I get my kicks.

3. Sleek, Cordless Stainless Steel Electric Kettle $79.95 | You can totally wait for all eternity if you just can’t do without the shrill whistle of a stove top kettle, or you can press one button on this bad boy and have boiling water ready faster than you can switch your laundry… but still switch your laundry because coming home from work and realizing your clothes having been sitting in the washer all day will give you a serious sad face emoji (cheaper option).

4. 100 Ct. #2 Filters $6.92 | If you’re committed you can save and buy in bulk. But don’t forget to grab a pack of these because you cannot make the coffee without them. Don’t give new meaning to #nofilterfail

5. 12oz. Bag of Brazil Beans by Cafe Kubal $12 | A medium roast from the Mogiana region with peanut and milk chocolate notes = yes. And here’s a decaf option. Kubal is my favorite local coffee shop. If you’re in the greater Syracuse area, check it out. Otherwise, at least they sell online. Also, if you give whole beans, consider whether your giftee has a grinder at home. Often people buy ground coffee or use the grinder at the store, so it’s not a guaranteed appliance.

6. Madagascar Vanilla Powder Shaker $9.99 | You might remember seeing a reference to this several months ago. There is a reason I mentioned it yet again. It. Is. So. Good. (cinnamon option)

Now here are eleven more mug options to check out. Because the truth is that mugs really reflect upon a person and dare I say, tell a potentially revealing story about that person. So if a mug is given as a gift put a little thought into it:

  1. For the endless errand runner
  2. For the serial monogrammer
  3. GOLD ONLY (EVER)
  4. For your cheeky girlfriend
  5. For the so-right-now-ist
  6. For the classic neautralist
  7. For the urban minimalist
  8. For the mason jar-aholic gal (yes, that is a thing)
  9. For the mason jar-aholic guy (yes, also a thing)
  10. For the secret architect
  11. For the not so ordinary

Choose well, friends.

And if you haven’t entered the current GWB giveaway on Instagram, go check it out!

Mama and Mini Giveaway on Instagram

Mama & Mini Giveaway :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBGiveaway #GWB

Are you ready for a super quick and amazing Loop Giveaway on Instagram? I’ve partnered up with four pretty darn spectacular brands and we will be giving one lucky winner (and her mini) a darling prize pack. It all starts at 8pm EST tonight! So jump on over to @giftswithbows on Instagram, read the directions, and enter for your chance to win $225+ in prizes! With only five accounts participating it will take you less than a minute to enter- easy peasy, friends!

One Winner | 6 Prizes

Gifts with Bows | One Pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins (any size/color) $60 value

Paisley and Sparrow | Mulu Scarf (can be used as a nursing cover!) $48 value

HABA USA | Palette of Pegs $24.99 value

JCL Designs | Mommy and Baby gold-filled bracelet set (includes personalization of choice) $68 value

Bibs & Co. | $25 shop credit

Enter soon, because the giveaway closes this Thursday the 12th at 11pm EST. See you on Insta!

-Kate