To you and yours-

Thursday, December 25, 2014

I hope you continue to have a delightful Christmas or holiday season!

Shopping for a Thomas

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Thomas essentially gets the same stocking every single year. I'd change it, but every single year he seems to love the same things, so I refuse to tamper with my perfectly honed system. That, and men are just really hard for me to shop for. If you experience the same struggle, maybe these gifts will inspire a few ideas for you.

1. Starbucks Christmas blend - His favorite coffee- convenient that it's sold this time of year!

2. Trader Joe's chocolate covered espresso beans -Huh. Apparently if you're desperate and willing to pay four times the cost, you can order these with Amazon prime. 

3. Mio water enhancers - Thomas is, quite possibly, the most well-hydrated person on the planet. Mios are his favorite way to keep water a little more interesting.

4. Reese's peanut butter trees - Just the best.

 5. Fine point pens - In a job where tiny handwriting and ridiculously fine point pens are praised, Thomas is mildly obsessed with loves his pens.

6. J. Crew boxers - New underwear is always a good idea.

7. J. Crew pajama pants - We have a new holiday pj tradition in our house and these J Crew pants have been the frontrunners for the last few years. These are mine.

8. Cocoon Grid-it -This would have absolutely made it into his stocking had I not come up with the idea so late. However, I just got one and it would be a brilliant idea for anyone who needs to wrangle the mess of cords that seems to always be around.

9. Krave jerky - Thomas is definitely a jerky guy so when I saw this idea in another blogger's guide, I knew I had to find it. Thankfully, Target had it- and on sale! Delicious sounding flavors.

10. Bandaids - (not pictured) Yes, I found camo bandaids. Yes, we will laugh long and hard come Christmas morning. Funny, yet useful gift.

Stockings for the not-quite toddler

Sorry we went dark for a few months! Thomas was deployed for a few months and we were strongly in survival mode. He's back now and all is right with our little world. 

Christmas stocking have long been my favorite part of Christmas. My parents were very good at putting them together and they had a seemingly endless stash of fun goodies that were equal parts useful, tasty, or just fun. For Margaret, I was a little stuck this year. 16 months is weird- not really a baby anymore (stay young forever!) and not quite a toddler. This is what we've come up with (for all of the scrambling at the last minute parents- like me!) this year.

1. Color Blast - This was a huge hit on our flight back to Seattle. Same premise as Color Wonder by crayola, but there's only one marker and the color is in the paper. Margaret loved seeing the colors, but there are activities for older kids as well. We found ours at Target.

2.  Take and Toss cups- Many thanks to Margaret for finally settling on the cheapest sippy cup around. These are remarkably spill-proof and easy for her to drink from (since about 10 months).

3.  Babylit books - If you haven't seen these adorable classics, check these out. We both swoon over the pictures and each book features a unique telling of the story- colors, counting, etc.

4. Bath toys- Munchkin Squirt bath toys - Boon Dive bath toys - We've long been fans of the Boon dive foam bath toys pictured, but I think the squirt toys we got will go over great as well.

5. P'kolino colored pencils and crayons - We got these for Margaret as I was just teaching her how to color. The size is perfect, the colors are very bright, and I love not having to rip paper off. The colored pencils are going in her stocking and hopefully we have a similarly great experience.

6. Notepads- not the ones pictured, just some that I picked up around the house for on-the-go diaper bag scribbles or sticker escapades.

7. Stickers- Michael's had a huge sale on Melissa and Doug stuff, so we grabbed a few of their regular sticker pads and some of the reusable sticker pads- similar to the Colorforms I played with as a kid. Sticker-obsessed Margaret has been sticking her current sticker collection all over the holiday LL Bean catalog. Waste not!