Holiday Gift Guide: Books!

Ok, we are getting to the point where you can't be too creative anymore. Shipping deadlines have come and gone especially for the handmade, crafty goods. It's time to focus on If you're an Amazon Prime member this means free 2 day shipping at any price. Which means more time to shop! I thought I'd highlight some great books for every type of gift recipient.

Texts from Jane Eyre - This is actually on my wishlist. I'm a huge literary buff - but with two kids I have no reading time. I now look for short, fun books that I can but down for days (or weeks!) at a time and return to later. This is that book.

A Little Princess {Puffin in Bloom edition} - I love this classic book and I really can't wait till I can read chapter books with my kiddos before bedtime. If you have a young child you're buying for - why not get them a beautifully designed, hardcover classic? These are perfect to start a collection and you can buy a new one every occasion (birthdays, Easter, whenever...)

Fifty Dresses That Changed The World - You know you have that friend that is really into fashion and classics. I have about 20 of them. They would all love this book. I would love this book.

The Signature of All Things - Even if you weren't a fan of Eat, Pray, Love - this book is getting great reviews. I could see this being a great gift for my mom and a few of my aunts. I'll be reserving it from the library for myself.

Butterfield 8 - The entire penguin drop cap collection is worth purchasing JUST to own such beautiful books. The Butterfield 8 cover is one of my favorites, as is the book. These are the like the Puffin in Bloom books I mentioned above, but for adults. Book lovers will appreciate these and so will design buffs.

Far From the Tree - This book would be a great book for any parent. The author dives into what families go through raising children who follow all different paths. I'm pretty sure it will make any parent cry - but at the same time open your eyes and appreciate the little humans you have in front of you for the individuals they are.

Need more help finding a book? Check out this awesome Penguin Hotline. ;)

Nap with baby... or not

Just a quick share today of this great video.

This was the point that made me stop napping with Lucille. Gus hasn't gotten there yet.

Happy Friday!

Christmas Movies 2014 edition

I've done a few posts in past years about Christmas Movies available for free to Amazon Prime members. I thought I'd share any that were added or I didn't include in past lists. These seem to change constantly - so some of the ones I shared last year are no longer available on Prime.

This one will be mostly kiddo movies - since we really only watch animated movies in our house now. All the kid / cartoon christmas movies on TV don't start until 8 or 9 pm which is too late for Lucille - so watching when we want to watch is key for us.

Arthur's Perfect Christmas - I could take or leave Arthur cartoons - but Lucille loves the Arthur books  so she might watch some of this.

Spike - This seems like a movie for bigger kids maybe - but sounds like a cute story and the animation looks great.

Casper's Haunted Christmas - I love Casper ghost movies. And this is no exception. They are so cute and Lucille loves saying "ghost" so she'd probably love it too.

Yes, Virginia - This is a great animated version of the classic story. I remember when this came out on primetime a few years ago and loved it. Don't think Lucille would quite understand it - but she might watch part of it. I can watch the rest after she goes to bed!

Kipper: Let it Snow - I don't know much about Kipper. I think I've seen books with this little puppy - but I'm not sure. Lucille would love it - because she's obsessed with puppies. We might watch this just to switch it up from Peppa Pig.

MPM: Week of December 8

The greek meatballs I made last week were amazing! I highly recommend that recipe if you like meatballs. I used turkey instead of lamb/beef and made 1/2 a recipe and cooked them in the oven vs. crock pot. Its an easily adaptable recipe.

Here is my plan this week:

Monday: Out for dinner with family
Tuesday: I'll be at a mixer so family will be on their own!
Wednesday: easy chicken pot pie
Thursday: Santa visit with friends
Friday: Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders
Saturday: Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork Pizza
Sunday: burrito enchiladas (didn't make last week)

Well, there is my plan. I am a bit busy this week with evening activities - so not a full week of cooking for me. More menu plans at org junkie of course!

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Little Bitties

Since everyone does gift guides for big kids - I thought I'd focus my gift guide for kids on the little bitties this year. Specifically kids around Gus and Lucille's age. Gus will be 5 month at Christmas and Lucille will be 20 months. Here are some great gifts I found for their age groups this year.

Lucille's age:
Hello Sunshine Game - I really wanted to get her a game this year. Our family loves games at the holiday time and I know she's young - but I thought there must be SOMETHING out there that she'd like and understand. This game involves moving the Sunshine around the house based on instructions on cards. What a great way to get kids to understand "above," "below," "inside," etc.

Baby Stella Doll - We got this doll for Lucille when we found out she was going to be a big sister. She loves it. This year we are hoping to get some of the accessories for her too.

Number Magnets - These are under $2 at Amazon - and would make a great small gift for a little one learning to count. I'm thinking of getting these for Lucille's stocking.

Gus' age:
Wee Workout Baby Gym - I am currently OBSESSED with Land of Nod. I want to redecorate the kids rooms in all Land of Nod goodies. This baby gym is expensive for a piece of wood and some hang-y toys. But oh my is it beautiful. I promise the rest will be more reasonable.

Manhattan Toy - Squeaks Bear rattle - I love this rattle. Manhattan toys are wonderful and this is no exception. Its wooden, has a lovely design and rattles and squeaks. We are putting this in Gus' stocking this year.

OogieBear - Ok, this is no fun for baby, but hey, at 5 months they don't understand Christmas anyway. The parents will love it. Everyone has heard of the Nosefrida and this should be its cute little companion piece. If you hurry it might still be available on Zulily too.

Enjoy the list. Hope it sparked some creativity! More gift ideas to come.

All Amazon links are Amazon Associate links.

Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

I think most women are pretty easy to buy for. Especially if you just listen. They tend to talk about things they want or need all the time. I know I do. My mom purposefully drops hints to my dad and he STILL has to ask me every year what he should get her.

I doubt the men in our lives are reading (or paying attention to this post) but maybe you need an idea for a friend - or maybe they are paying attention. So here are some of my finds for us ladies.

Jewelry is always a safe bet, right? We'll I've found two AMAZING jewelry brands through Instagram: H.M. Willow and Wrenn Jewelry. Over at Wrenn Jewelry the personalized heart bracelet is lovely. Its also super affordable - at $25. I love The Betty Ruth at H.M. Willow - its a lovely shade of pink.

These better life bags are another winner. They are lovely, you can customize them and they help out people who need it. Read the story behind the better life bags and you'll want to get two. One for you and one for a friend.

Another jewelry find is this cute "mama" bracelet from etsy shop Brin & Bell. A great price at $23.

J. Crew always has amazing finds but this John Derian small round tray is adorable. I constantly have a handful of jewelry laying on my night stand and any of these designs would make a PERFECT home for those accessories. Under $50 - makes it affordable. If you want closer to the $25 dollar range - this stone hand tray from West Elm would work equally as well.

How about candles? I'm obsessed with candles - but these from Chicks with Wicks {GREAT name!} are awesome. They are in craft brew beer cans. I'll be getting a few of these for people (hopefully they aren't reading this post!)

My last idea for this list is the game Love Letter. I love giving games for Christmas, and love playing them during the holidays too. This game is under $10, doesn't take a long time to play and has won a few awards. I'm getting it for someone this Christmas... shhh.

There are my suggestions! Hope you enjoyed them and that they gave you some ideas. Be sure to keep reading for more of my Holiday Gift Guides!!

Menu Plan: Its December

First, please excuse typos I am writing this laying down with a sleeping baby on me. Second, holy moly, its December. Planning easy stuff this week so we have time around the house to decorate.

This weeks plan:

Monday: At my parents (I really couldn't get it together quick enough to plan for tonight.)
Tuesday: greek stuffed meatballs
Wednesday: Buffalo Chicken Salad
Thursday: with family
Friday: Creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese
Saturday: Burrito Enchiladas
Sunday: taquito salad

Ok. There is my easy plan. I barely got this done. We'll see how well I stick to it!

If you want more menu plans - check out org junkie!