Skip to content

it’s just a phase

January 28, 2016

Oh my. My friend Allison sent me a link with a warning I would probably need tissues. When all is quiet in your house (right!) watch this video. Although my daughter is still in a tutu phase, I can see my oldest son in this too. 8 minutes long.

happy new year 2016

January 10, 2016

sweetishhappy new year!

Sharing some quick things that have come into my inbox lately-

Trader Joe’s Customer Choice Award Winners

16 Goals to Set for Next Year

and some new finds-

Loving this dish soap smell! Honest Dish Soap in Lemon Verbena- I found it at Target

Stiga Table Hockey Game– I love this game! We have been keeping it on our kitchen table as we are playing so often. Becomes addictive.

Toddler Little Sleepyhead Pillow– Brooke needed a pillow for her bed that was smaller than an adult pillow and I took a chance on this based on all the positive reviews- it’s adorable in the pink case! She LOVES it.

Crate and Barrel dip bowls– I ended up buying more with the holiday sale as we use these more than any other bowl we have. I know it says it’s a dip bowl, but it’s a cereal, yogurt, dessert bowl in ours!

SMaK Salve– My friend Maureen and friends started this company and she sent me a kit of their products. I am using the Salve all the time- cuticles, dry lips, elbows, feet- love it! I will be reordering from this dry state I live in.

and for a REAL treat- order these Sea Salt caramels! My sisters and my mom had these when we stayed at a hotel in Scottsdale and begged for more from the concierge. Now we are ordering them on our own and the owner Julie couldn’t be nicer. Sweetish Treats– YUM!




holiday gift giving guide 2015- part 6

December 17, 2015

clapperhey all!

This may be my final post with gift ideas as things tend to get busier this week and then the kids are NOT IN SCHOOL for over 2 weeks!

If you want more ideas- go to the drop down on the right under Category and look up “gifts” – all the guides from previous years should pull up- and frankly- if they were a favorite thing then, they probably still are!

From Adam-

One item I own and like is the REI Co-Op down vest.  The jacket is pretty cool too.  They fit great, good colors, and they are an affordable alternative to Patagonia.  They also come with the REI warranty which is a bonus.
From Wendy-
Jambox speakers- great teen gift
Some of my picks-
My boys love to wear a tie on the one day a year they dress up- thought these were fun by Cufflinks
I love my S’well bottle and have given many as gifts this fall. I especially love their exotics collection!
Recently, I ordered from and have been SO happy with their flower delivery. First, the flowers are so fresh. You can smell them when you are around them- which isn’t always the case! They also don’t ship with a vase which I appreciate as those are donated afterwards in my house.  I use my favorite vases and love to have them around. I think a gift of fresh flowers would be such a luxury! You can have them shipped once or even quarterly.
If you can order quick, the thumbprints are so awesome from mpix. I chose 50 of my favorite pictures (mostly from my instagram account) and had them sent to me- they are like old Polaroids in size and fun to see the year that way.
Finally, had to include the Clapper! You all may remember these from when we all grew up. My son Luke asked for one for his bday and it turned out to be an awesome and fun gift. Love hearing him clap as he enters and exits his room!
Happy Holidays!! XOXO

holiday gift guide 2015- Part 5

December 13, 2015

buzzersOkay- back to gift giving- here are some cool gifts to give!

We copied our friends Alissa and Tim when we bought our boys the Basketball Double Shot Arcade System for our basement. We are in that in between stage of not playing with as many toys, so we needed to figure out something new and fun- the reviews are good.  They also told me about the Polaroid Cube which is like a less expensive Go Pro.

My friend Kristy shared this sweet gift with me- Just Between Us – she wrote me- “Izie picked it out from Clothes Pony a while back and we’ve both loved it. We write in it when we can, and then quietly leave it on the bed for the other person. It’s been a fun exchange.”

From my friend Amy with two boys under 10-

a 10-gallon aquarium for the kitchen counter. Our goldfish Bobbly is about to be very jealous! Nerf Lazer Tag set, set of 2 LL Bean sleds, winter pajamas and a few books (Marvel and DC superhero encyclopedias have been good gifts the last few years for Henry; this year: Avengers), Zummer Zuppies, and a giant Talking Minion!

Other Ideas she is looking into-

Makey Makey–  Wink Board Game, Ring It! The Clap and Ring GameFamily Feud game with Answer Buzzers,  and a Laser Pegs Space Fighter Building Set.

Fragrance gifts-

My friend Amy H. is a big fan of Nest Birchwood Pine candles– beautiful packaging too! And I LOVE Thymes Fraser Fir Diffuser– since we have a fake tree, this totally tricks everyone into thinking it’s real! Smells like a fresh cut tree. My sister Wendy is crazy for the Cote Bastide Ambre Crystals – she first smelled it on a trip and now swears by it around her house. You can split them up into smaller bowls to spread the love!

Car and restaurant toys- I realize some of you are passed this but I’m not- so here are some good ideas for those of you who need a relaxing meal out with the kids over the holidays! Kid O Free Play Magnatab, Boogie Boards, and Water Wow!. Even my older boys play with Boogie Boards in the car– they are a great invention!

More to come- please send me your ideas!

holiday gift giving guide 2015 – book suggestions from the girls

December 9, 2015

For al

humansAs Oprah says “What I know for sure…” is the list of reco books is forever long. Feel free to comment with some of your favorites below!

From Christina- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (I second this suggestion, loved it!) Furiously Happy by Jennifer Lawson- serious subjects, but laugh out loud funny.  She also wrote Let’s Pretend this Never Happened– awesome as well. Favorite non-fiction is How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims – the former dean of freshman at Stanford- great ideas for raising  kids who are self sufficient. 

Ali- Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Julie- Just read a YA book with my daughter- A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass. Very sweet.

Amy- Humans of New York is a fantastic book gift- coffee table book too- love love love it. Carry On, Warrior for all the moms by Glennon Doyle Melton. Uprooted by Naoimi Novik is a grown-up fairytale, Bone Clocks by David Mitchell was weird and wonderful, and The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Cradley is a YA book that I personally adored and found fantastic!

Jennifer- My husband suggested this book for his dad:  Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
And my husband LOVED this book a few years back – Salt: A World History

On my list to check out- My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinham and Songs of Willow Frost by James Ford (he also wrote Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet) For more of my favorite books, go to the right side bar of this page and choose the drop down under category of “bedside table”. You will see quite a list!

I always want to hear what you all are reading or giving!

holiday gift giving guide 2015 – books for men

December 7, 2015

booksI think most male gift lists circle around alcohol and tools when I see them. I am aiming for something different with this list!

You can only know what guys want by asking them what they like- let’s start with books- I asked some guys I know for a quick list of their favorite books-

My father-in-law reads 2 books at a time- his rec’s are:

The Generals– by Winston Groom, First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen, and Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Tom’s (my husband) favorites are All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results by Adrian Gostick, The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Our friend Brian’s favorites are The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and Fighter Pilot by Robin Olds

From my brother-in-law Bill who has read more books than anyone I’ve ever known- These are “top-of-my-head ideas. I’m sure I will have more once I get home tonight and look in my library:”

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy – his BEST book, by far. One of the great American novels, in Moby Dick category.
American Tabloid by James Ellroy – utterly thrilling. He also wrote LA Confidential, etc. Very edgy stuff.
Relic by Preston & Child – love all of their books. This is where to start.
The Devil You Know by Mike Carey – London with ghosts & zombies, really good.
Day by Day Armageddon by JL Bourne – another cool twist on zombies.
Moby Dick – not for everyone, but AMAZING…or, just get Heart of the Sea.
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson- Quick! Before the movie comes out!
The Alienist by Caleb Carr – STILL one of the best, creepiest books I’ve ever read.
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris – all-time great. Terrifying and fun.
Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield – the historical-fiction account of the Battle of Thermopylae (the 300, Spartans). EPIC!
Fatherland by Robert Harris – what if Hitler won World War II? One of the best historical fictions, ever.
Live From New York – The History of Saturday Night Live. Absolute entertainment from beginning to end. (non-fiction)
Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss – Historical fiction (can you tell I love HF?) set in London and the first stock market.
Any/All Tom Clancy – Red Storm Rising is my favorite
Point of Impact – First Stephen Hunter book. Tom Clancy meets American Sniper. For the conservative male🙂
Heart of Darkness – like Moby Dick, STILL blows me away. Every sentence is poetry.
An Army at Dawn by Rik Atkinsson – first of his World War II trilogy. Awesome (non-fiction)
The Last Lion by William Manchester. Really readable history about one of history’s greatest men (non-fiction)
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren – again, the classics are the classics because they’re great!
Gorky park by Martin Cruz Smith. Love

These should keep you all busy for awhile. Soon to come- some of the favorite books that girlfriends have read!




holiday gift giving 2015

December 6, 2015

Kano-DIY-Computer-KitI have to laugh. I had no idea so many of you are waiting on these gift lists- !!! Since I have never done affiliate links, I never knew how many of you have shopped the links. These last two weeks I have gotten texts and emails like “Where are the gift lists?!!”

So, here are some on my mind-

From my friend Maureen-

for the tweens- Rookie Yearbook One – I clicked on this and think it sounds awesome!

Mimo Power – these look cool too!

For tech engaged kids- Kano Computer Kit– where do you guys find these cool ideas? I can think of 2 boys in my family would love this!

for me – I mean moms- Eberjey Gisele Pajamas– I have these in navy from our local Satin Camisole- they are so soft

Pioneer Womans favorite Knife- Wusthof Classic Nikiri– My friend Rebecca reminded me of this that was on my list before. It’s still MY favorite knife and she gave a bunch last year which became all their favorite gifts!

Other favorite subscriptions I like to give for kids- Foodstirs, Kiwi Crates, Little Passports.

More to come- send me your lists!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.