The Ultimate Ladies Christmas List

Who loves a great stocking stuffer?! I do I do! Only a few things are over $15!! I have gathered up my fave things for my lovely ladies here..great products with great quality.

These are the items on the top of my little wish list this year too & I just had to share them with you! I love it all!!! I got you covered..from face masks to fitness, all the way to down to cozy slippers.

All of them are adorable and adorable…and it all comes together to make one happy chickadee! Come check out some Christmas cheer babes..

And don’t forget to share, so your loved ones know exactly what you wish for!

The Ultimate Ladies Christmas List

ban.do Glitter Bomb Pink Stardust Water Bottle

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ban.do Women’s BFF Deluxe Hot Stuff Thermal Mug

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Soft Stretch Cable Knit Ribbed Faux Fur Pom Pom Beanie Hat

Kate Spade New York Lunch Tote – Deco Dots (Out To Lunch) & Tumbler With Straw

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Forever 21 Slipper Socks

Winter CC Faux Fur Furry Crossbody Shoulder Handbag Wristlet Clutch Purse

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TonyMoly I’m Real sheet mask (Set of 09)

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Tone It Up: 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous

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Knit Winter Infinity Scarf for Women Fashion Thick Warm Circle Loop Scarves Beige

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VS Pajama Set w/free slippers

H&M Loose Knit Sweater

H&M Triple Stand Necklace

Happy Holiday Hunting! Stay tuned for the The Gentlemen’s Guide..with a very special appearance!

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The Timeless Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

Ah that time of year again! Where you’re scoping out all the latest and greatest items to buy your little loved ones

I used to fall victim to all-things-toys when I was a new mom. I thought for sure they’d love it all. I mean how could they not?! They love it when we are at the store…I couldn’t have been more wrong. Those toys were usually always donated after some short time.

Now don’t get me wrong..we have some goodies that have stuck around and made it through each kid. But their favorite things are usually items they can create & pretend with. So now I focus more on that than the coolest new robotic action figure…

Now there are a lot of things we already have ( just like I’m sure you have a lot already too!).. So I’ll share my ideas of some of the classic, best things to buy that will stick around during those playtimes for years to come. They will make great additions to things you may already own or they make great toys that you can add to.

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

1. Lincoln Logs $20-$50

These will stick around for years! I loved playing with these and our kids love making new homes for some of their small figurines. This bucket is at the top of their Christmas list this year. Include some cute animals & their favorite small action figures to go along with it! You can get smaller versions of this too.

LINCOLN LOGS – 100th Anniversary Tin – 111 All-Wood Pieces – Ages 3+ Construction

2. LEGO Sets $5-$100

This will keep kids entertained for quite some time and always can add their favorite character sets to it as they grow. Classic! We still love the LEGO Duplo Sets too especially for our younger littles. They play with these almost every day and get so creative. It is relaxing item for children too and really keeps them engaged. Great toys!!

I recommend starting with a box set and building baseplate like this oneLEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box& Set of 9 Lego Compatible 5X5 Building Boards for the smaller LEGO sets.

And these LEGO Duplo sets are fantastic for beginners….LEGO Pink Duplo Set , LEGO DUPLO My First Cars and Trucks

3. Melissa and Doug Stamp Set $5-20

The possibilities are endless here too. Kids can create their own images of animal kingdoms, princess castles, dino lands & so much more. So grab a big poster board or blank sheets and let them create their own little world to play on. This is something that requires no batteries, is simple and fun. Help them design their own playscape!

Here are my favorites…Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Stamp Set: Animals,Melissa & Doug Wooden Stamps Sets (2): Dinosaurs and VehiclesMelissa & Doug Drawing Pad

4. Board Games $5-25

What great way to spend that cozy holiday break….drinking cocoa, watching the snow fall and playing games with the family! We love games. Especially when the winter gets to be a bit boring, these can lighten the mood! This is a wonderful way to kick off Winter.

Buy these classics like Jenga, Operation, Candy Land, Mouse Trap, Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots, Clue & Battleship… and so much more!

5. Little People Nativity Scene & Noah’s Ark $24 & $29

I love Little People Sets. The princesses, the animals, the barn..we have so many. But these two are adorable! And perfect for the season. It inspires storytelling for your little ones and something that can be used for so long! Plus, it’s special to explain the meaning of Christmas.

Get them here..Fisher-Price Little People Nativity

Noah’s Ark Playset

6. Melissa and Doug Jumbo Stuffed Animals $25-35

These cute things are nearly 2 ft or more in size and make great play companions. Kids can tackle and play their little day away. There are lot of adorable animals to choose from and can even go bigger and bigger!

I love the Dino, Shark, & Orca Whale

7. Green Toys Build-A-Bouquet Floral Playset $12..On sale!

My daughter, and even sons, love this set! It’s so cute. They create all different kinds of flower scenes and use their little bugs and nets along with it. Great for motor skills and creativity. A must have!!

Buy Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Floral Arrangement Playset here..

8. Green Toys Wagon $15..On sale!

Green Toys wagon

This wagon is oh so adorable and amazingly sturdy. My boys even tested it out by riding in it and it withstood them..despite its smaller frame! Green Toys make amazing products that are very durable and timeless. Get this to haul around all the goodies this Christmas!

Buy it here.. on sale!

9. Teepee Tent $49

Give the gift of space…play space that is.. Let your child set up their own little play room in this tent and get creative! Put some blocks inside or their favorite games and let them set up and design the inside. Plus they can snuggle up with cozy blankets and watch a good Christmas movie when they are done with presents & dinner. Or even camp out by the Christmas tree!

This one is on sale now…get it here!

10. Whatever their heart desires..

Ok ok… we gotta buy at least one of the overpriced items they beg for each year. I always take them to stores and let them look at the Holiday catalogs to see what kind of toy they will really go nuts over having. Picking that one thing they absolutely love, actually makes them appreciate it more.

I have done this each year now and those toys are the ones they still get out and remember exactly when it got it.

So go ahead and buy that big toy they think is the bees knees too!

Happy Holidays Loves!!

Up next is The Gentleman’s Christmas & The Ladies List!

A Lovely Little Party..Crafts, Appetizers & More..

This most recent party I planned was one of my favorites. So many cute ideas that can easily be used for the upcoming holiday gatherings!

I have had a blast the past few months! My daughter turned two and just so much going on as a family. We have really taken steps to just lay back and enjoy the small moments as a family. And we love to celebrate birthdays here!

I have always been a fan of brunches & lunches for my friends growing up. My best friend and I would go all out, even on a Saturday morning after a night of mayhem in our younger years. Plus party planning just runs in my blood. So I love that I get to channel that enjoyment into my own children’s parties now.

They get to help with the crafts, the baking and so much more. The end results and their pure fascination with it, is bliss and worth the busyness.

My little cutie loves Tinkerbell, so she had a spread that was fit for a fairy. It was such a fun variety of flavors and so many things to try.

 

The Food: Bite Size Appetizers, Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, Cheese & Meat Plates, Fruit Kabobs, Mini Pancake & Berry Bites..

Mini PB&J Shapes Bites, Local Popcorn & Cheeseballs in Bags, S’mores Snack mix, Veggies Tower with Buffalo Dip, Cramberry Cinnamon Apple Dip, Ranch Dip & Crackers

The Dessert: Mint Chocolate Chip Icing cupcakes, Strawberry Vanilla Cake and cupcakes (the best I have had, no joke)

The Crafts: Wooden Tinkerbell Fairy Wands, pompom ball toothpicks for appetizer bites & “You are Loved” pumpkins, Butterfly Banner

The Drinks: Water, Lemonade, Soda & Berry Bellinis

Decor: things I already owned around house, like flowers, vines and wooden platters, lace tablecloth & photo frame from her room with free print out

It was so much fun! The food was so good and the kids loved it. Check local produce and deli and just pick variety of fruits & veggies, along with fun dips to try. The deli should have lots of cheeseballs and meats like prosciutto, salamis & more to add to your spread.

The blue cheese stuffed olives I found in my local super store and they were amazing! A lot of places have good stuffed olives.

I used a lot of Anthropologie bowls, wooden serving platters & decor I already had around my house. So the woodland fairy theme came together nicely!

I also had a play station set up for boys and girls. There was a pink fairy table & pirate table with crafts my kids made & party favors. But I got too busy to remember those pictures! And a drink station that I loved. But again, I was too wrapped up in my cutie and it was so rainy so pics didn’t have good lighting!

The crafts…were so simple!

Wands– wooden dowels, hot glue gun, ribbon, bells & stuffing…

-Cut desired shape and glue together (I chose heart shapes) , leaving a little hole to poke the stuffing into..

-Insert wooden dowel and glue the hole shut once stuffed

-Tie a ribbon onto the dowel just below the shape, tie an additional piece of ribbon that has the bell on it to the dowels and glue the knots on ribbon to dowel.

I added a little Pom Pom ball to mine to resemble Tink’s similar little fluffs. I also plan to make a Christmas themed one too so stay tuned!

Pom Pom Toothpicks -Pom Pom balls and toothpicks

Simply insert the toothpick into the Pom Pom ball. Then use as utensils for the bite size cheeses and meats like picture. Also to stack mini pancakes etc… cost $2 total & made a ton! So cute too.

“You are Loved” Pie Pumpkin for decorating craft to take home- pumpkins, tags and twine, stamp & paint

 

Take tag and just stamp your desired message and paint choice onto gift tag, then tie to pumpkin stem. I get my paint and stamps from Hobby Lobby and many to choose from.

– decorate with glitter, stickers and more at the party for a project the kids will enjoy.

 

Then they can take it all home!

10 Ways To Have An Eco Friendly Home & Save Money…

We are all realizing to look for better food to consume, so let’s take this a step further and really crack down on unsafe chemicals found in our products. Some items pollute the air… in our own home even…and some products waste our money buy breaking down over time.

  • Things like the soaps you use, the cleaning products, and even down to your shower curtain can be toxic. So it’s important to know ways to keep the air clean and smell fresh without all the toxic products. 

  • Indoor air can be almost 100x worse than outdoor air. Causing asthma and disruptions to the natural healing process of our bodies.

So here are my favorite products I use throughout my house and methods that keep my mind at ease and reduce waste. You will save money by ditching all the pointless cleaners, plastic bags, candles and all. This stuff will leave your home clean, disinfected & smelling great.

•Amber Bottles$10

These are great because they won’t break down like plastic bottles. Plus they are cute and perfect for concocting your own cleaning recipes with essential oils. Natural cleaning solutions with vinegar, lemon and water are way safer than most spray cleaners. I love mine! I make my own air freshener and cleaner.


•Wool Dryer Balls$10

wool balls are the perfect solution for keeping your clothes soft and static free. Plus you will save a ton of money on dryer sheets. Spritz a little essential oil on these and pop right in to the dryer. Save money and save your air from synthetic fragrance. Dryer sheets can be very toxic. And these last for sooooo long! I haven’t used dryer sheets in years thanks to these. They work wonders.



•Air Purifier$85

It is nice to have one of these to help clean the air from what we pollute it with inside our home. These actually rid the air of germs, so it’s great for protecting the family and visitors from spreading illness. This is the best investment. We love ours!! Keeps the home smelling fresh as well.

•Ditch Plastic & Toxic Kitchen Items

Links to items below..

Try Stainless Steel/Silicone/Glass/Bamboo/Mesh

I decided to ditch all the old plastic in the house this year. Many plastics may be safe to use but break down over time and become an issue again. It disrupts the natural functions of our bodies. So I replaced all my children’s cups and even mine to meet some safer guidelines and it wasn’t more expensive.

I actually saved money switching from plastic tumblers to masons jars and steel straws. Because I don’t have to constantly replace cups.

I still have some safe plastic choices and I look out for the code number you can find on the bottom of your plastics..we look to buy options with the number 2 & 5! I buy reusable plastic/silicone bags for some snack containers instead of those typical sandwich bags at the store.

And stop using bottled water!!! Invest in some cute options to take your own water on the go. I only buy water out if I have ran out or forgot to bring my own.

Many toys now come in recycled plastics options such as Green Toys and they also make safer dinnerware choices for kids too. (More on kids toys and money saving tricks coming soon for Christmas!)

And don’t forget the shower curtain…they are one of the worst indoor air pollutants! We buy polyester washable curtains.

You will save because you won’t run out or need to replace constantly! Items are usually $10-$15 or way less…and last. I use all of these items below daily for food storage, drinks and snacks.

-Silicone Sippy Cup Lids

-Stainless Steel Straws

-Silicone Food/Snack Storage Bags

-Mesh Fruit/Veggie Bags

-Mason Jar Drinking Lids

-Glass Food Storage/Oven Safe

-Beeswax Reusable Food Wrap

-Washable Fabric Shower Curtain

•Charcoal Bags $15 5 pack

Perfect for a little extra indoor air cleaning and helps remove odors! I have one on everyone’s closet door handle. Charcoal helps kill odors and keep air clean naturally. These little bags are cute too.

Salt Lamps$19.99

Salt lamps release positive ions into the air which are great for your health and mood. I sleep next to one every night to offset all the things in my room that my be harmful to our air. They are calming and said to help with indoor allergies.

Plants-So stock up on some of the best plants that actually release fresh air into your home! I prefer ivy, aloe & peace lilies since they are so low maintenance. I keep a plant in each room of the house. It’s so comforting and adorable for the decor of your home.

•Safe Soap/Cleaner & Essential Oils

Essential Oil Bundle $14.95

-Cool Mist Humidifier/oil diffuser

My favorites are tea tree, lemon and lavender. Thieves oil is great for cleaning. Avoid eucalyptus if there are young children in the house though. I love to use vinegars and baking soda as my main cleaning agents. All these agents clean and disinfect countertops, toilets and even floors.  Just use those amber bottles to store it!

Seventh Generation makes wonderful cleaning supplies that disinfect home too…Especially if you aren’t familiar with oils or just need the power of a good disinfectant quickly.

And if ditching candles and plugins to get the clean house smell doesn’t sound appealing go for Beeswax candles and burners! They actually help the air instead of bogging it down with fake fragrance.I love to use a diffuser & cool air humidifier to freshen up my home.

You will save money because oils go a long way.

Reusable Napkins/Cleaning Cloths$3.99

I ditched paper towels a long time ago. I realized I was going through them way too much, so I stocked up on some tea sack towels and starting using old rags to clean. Money saver!! I still will have paper towels and things for parties and such but keep it to a minimum.

•Reusable Tote Bags$2-5

I love canvas bags and use them for everything. I use them as a diaper bag even! But they are great to keep in the car for when you want to run to the farmers market or a quick store trip. Why do we need fancy bags anyway??

This works just fine. And usually less then $5.

I’ll do more on how to become a minimalist in many ways. Going to store shouldn’t mean a different cleaner for every room and surface. (Except lovely wood!) Doing this will cut down plastics and chemicals around you and your family.

Natural Scents For The Home

I love having candles. But with my children’s allergies and such, I am not able to have too many artificial scents throughout the home. It always seems to interrupt their air quality and makes their coughs worse. So I keep candles to a minimum now or just use the best candle options mostly.

Having children was a quick way to learn that fragrance was a bad thing. Their skin would break out, they sneeze and wheeze.

We keep things pretty natural here. I actually prefer the smell of natural soaps and scents so much more now. Nothing better than a freshly bathed babe who smells like honey and lime over chemicals.

But I soon realized soaps weren’t the only problems for fragrance and added chemicals.

My beloved candles and plug ins had to go. But thankfully I have found my favorite way to freshen up the home…

If you don’t have a cool air humidifier that you can drop a few essential oils into…just burn a few things on the stove!

Here’s my favorite scent right now. It is so simple to make and your house will be smelling like a fresh baked pie in no time…and there are a few different ways to achieve it too..

Ingredients for stove stop scent:

  • Orange peels
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground clove
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the orange peels. ( I store my children’s fruit peels in a mason jar throughout the day for this) Once the orange peels have had a few moments to soften up, add all the spices except pumpkin pie. I just sprinkle in a little of each. About 1-2 tsps.

Next, lower heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally.

I like to add a few dashes of pumpkin spice towards the end for an extra burst of scents. Pumpkin Pie Spice is just a mix of these spices and more so it’s nice to add a bit before I take it off the stove.

Add a dash of frankincense or thrive oil too for a stronger scent.

Another way to achieve this smell is simply through essential oils in boiling water or an air humidifier.

Just boil water and add a few drops of orange oil and another oil like frankincense or thrive (which is a blend of a few different oils and smells delightful)

Just watch out for some oils like Eucalyptus when it comes to young children. I use very little Thrive oil when boiling or putting in an air humidifier since it contains Eucalyptus.

I promise you this works wonders though. I usually do this when I’m done cooking dinner. I’ll throw all this on a pot on the back-burner and by the time we are almost done eating you can smell the divine scents filling up your home. Just in time to snuggle up with some Cocoa 😉 Enjoy Loves!

4 Ways to Use Pumpkin: Vanilla + Pumpkin Body Scrub, Pumpkin+Honey Face Mask, A Latte & Cinnamon Roasted Seeds..

Even though Halloween is near, we still have a lot of Fall weather to enjoy and more holidays to come after. And I love to make the most of something, so you better believe I kept the insides of our pumpkins after carving. Plus, after Halloween, pumpkins go on MAJOR sale so you can get them next to nothing and make all things Pumpkin in November too.

Pumpkin has major health benefits for you and your skin. It’s packed with fiber, vitamin C and potassium. It’s great for wrinkle prevention and helps keep a healthy heart.

And these things will make great gifts or party favors.. Or just enjoy them all to yourself!

Here are the best ways to use the inside of your Pumpkins…or even canned pumpkin as well..

Vanilla+Pumpkin Body Scrub

Ingredients

  • Puréed Pumpkin
  • Brown Sugar
  • Almond oil (or oil of choice)
  • Pure Vanilla Extract

Combine ingredients together until desired texture. I use about 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée with 1/2 cup brown sugar then a few drops of the oil and vanilla. You’re skin will be glowing and smooth!

If using the inside of your carved pumpkin, remove your seeds (and save them!) and then blend some of the pumpkin with a splash of water until you get a creamy pumpkin purée.

Honey+Pumpkin Face Mask

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Purée
  • Honey
  • Turmeric (optional)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Take about 1/4 cup purée and combine 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp turmeric if choose & about 2 tsp ACV. Apply and leave on for 10-15

Vanilla Pumpkin Latte

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Heat the milk, purée ( & sugar if desired) in a saucepan over medium heat..once it’s hot remove and add the vanilla, Spice & coffee and whisk. Then top with whipped cream!

Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Maple Syrup
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice

Clean Seeds if they came directly from your pumpkin. Rinse and boil, then dry. In a bowl melt about 1-2 tbsp of butter then add cinnamon, maple syrup and spice. You can add sugar or brown sugar if desired..toss the seeds in mixture.

Roast in the oven at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes, make sure you place seeds on parchment paper before roasting & toss every 15 until you get desired crunch.

These are my favorite ways to use my pumpkins! Oh so good and my skin is oh so smooth…what are your favorite ways to enjoy the seasonal fun?!