*This gift guide is sponsored by many of the included brands; all opinions are my own.*
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Whatever your holiday tradition, most of us exchange gifts with loved ones this time of year. I hope this gift guide will help you pick out the perfect present for each person on your list, and that this holiday season will be a fun and pleasantly memorable one for your family. Nick, Serenity, and I hope that each of you will be especially aware of the gift of each other this year, and that Jesus will fill your hearts with love, hope, and peace. ? We hope you enjoy our Christmas Gift Guide 2014!
These are our top three picks for this year’s Christmas gift guide!
One of my favorite authors became an even bigger favorite this year when she released an absolutely wonderful new family book for Advent. Unwrapping The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp is…phenomenal…beautiful…astonishing. Ann has a way with words that I can’t explain, but that moves me soul-deep every single time. Reading the Jesus Story through her eyes makes me cry, and I’m not even kidding. Serenity is too young to appreciate it this year, but I am reading it on my own, and loving every moment. And next year, and the year after, and the year after that, I will read it with her, every day of the 25 days of Christmas, for as many years as God gives me. Because this — this is the tradition I was looking for, as a young mother, a young wife, and a young Christian longing for more Jesus in my Christmas. Unwrapping The Greatest Gift is a masterpiece of storytelling, unpacking precious scripture, stunning artwork, thoughtful questions, and I can’t recommend it enough. Buy it here, and find Ann’s new DVD study, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping The Full Love Story Of Christmas, here. You can connect with Ann by reading her blog, and following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.
If you’re looking for a way to give back while buying gifts for your loved ones, this year, a great way to do so is with a product like Prosperity Cinnamon via World Vision Gift Catalog. I received one of these pretty spice boxes made from cinnamon bark, and filled with 3oz of premium cinnamon from Vietnam, and I have to say I pick it up and just breathe it in almost every day. The catalog has many beautiful gifts for your loved ones, and many more ways you can give to people in need around the world in the name of someone on your list. World Vision does an enormous amount of good, and what better time of year to pay it forward? Buy Prosperity Cinnamon here, and find more gift ideas here. You can connect with World Vision on their website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and their blog.
ARTFOLDS are a unique and clever gift for the crafty person on your list, this year. Each one is a full length classic book, with full text, that features lines on every right-side page for fold-as-you-read fun to create a beautiful and surprising design. ARTFOLDS come in multiple designs and stories, divided into Color Editions — smaller and simpler designs in full color, featuring fun designs including ones like the Christmas Tree and Mickey Mouse — and Classic Editions — larger, with foil page edging for glittery pizzazz on designs like LOVE and Snowflake. The Color Editions contain simple and fun text, like the holiday quotes in the “Christmas Memories” design, while the Classic Editions are full length books featuring titles like Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen. I saw these recently at our local Barnes & Noble, and you can also find them online — like JOY, here. Learn more on the ARTFOLDS website.
Gifts For Grownups
These are our favorite gift ideas for this year’s Christmas gift guide. Enjoy!
Pardon the not-so-awesome selfie, but I just had to include a photo of the beautiful 12 Hole Elf Ocarina that showed up on my doorstep as I was putting the finishing touches on this gift guide. Never heard of an ocarina? It’s the hauntingly beautiful hand pipe played by Link in the Legend Of Zelda, and I was surprised to learn the ocarina has a very long history, and originated in various forms in ancient Chinese and mesoamerican cultures possibly as long ago as 12,000 years! Ocarinas are fascinating for many reasons, not least of which is the variety of shapes they can take, and the stunning and ethereal notes produced no matter the size or shape (including a teacup, of all things). The 12 Hole Elf Ocarina came with instructions for accessing an online instructional booklet and fingering charts, and a Lord Of The Rings songbook. I was thrilled to discover that I could easily read the notation, and I was able to play (if badly) “Into The West” on my first attempt! I’m extremely excited about this beautiful ocarina. ? Buy it here, and connect with STL Ocarina on their website, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
When Nick and I learned we were pregnant, it was a dream come true. Nick asked me if I wanted a gift of some sort to celebrate, and I immediately thought of the beautiful figurines of expecting mothers and families from Willow Tree. So I asked him for one, and to my delight, he obliged! Home by Willow Tree is a beautiful resin figurine of an expectant mother and father, wrapped in a tender embrace. It stand on the shelf above my desk so I can see it and smile every day, and it would make a wonderful gift for any expecting family on your gift list this Christmas. Buy it here, and see more lovely figures from Willow Tree on their website, and connect with them on Facebook.
Last year I was sent a pair of white SOL Republic Tracks On-Ear Headphones for my birthday, and they kindly sponsored a giveaway for my readers. I love them so much, I’m including them in this year’s Christmas gift guide because they make the perfect gift for music lovers! These are their most basic model of headphones, which is saying something since they’re ridiculously cool, with interchangeable headbands, comfortable padding on the sound engines, 3 button sounds adjuster on the lightweight cord, and padding on the headband itself making for a very comfortable listening experience. You can get the full picture from the review I included in my birthday post earlier this year. Buy a pair here, and connect with SOL Republic on their website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Google+.
Bring the Bible to life this Christmas with NIV Live: A Bible Experience. The full experience comes with 79 CDs, a bonus DVD, digital file download of each of the 66 books of the Bible, download on up to 6 devices (Apple, Android, or Amazon), and online web Bible version, an a sturdy and attractive black leather zippered carrying case (it also comes in 2 smaller collections, for a variety of budgets). Featuring a star-studded cast of voice actors, musicians, pastors, and teachers, listen as every character in the Bible comes to life with their own voice, set to the backdrop of a beautiful musical score, and professional sound effects. Watch as the text lights up in sync with the audio, if you choose, for a deeper studying experience; you can even add bookmarks and create custom playlists, and there are several reading options for studying the Bible chronologically, reading it in a year, or searching topically. NIV Live: A Bible Experience is a wonderful gift for anyone in your life who would enjoy a new and unique way to dive deeper into scripture, and the best part is that it’s available in so many formats that they’ll be able to have this gift at their fingertips any time they want it. This is an especially great gift for people who spend a lot of time on the road, or who are visually impaired; as much as I would love to keep this Bible for myself, we’re giving it to Nick’s grandma, who has been unable to read for several years, now. I know she’s going to love it! Buy it here, and learn more on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Shower her with flowers, and support small business with BloomNation! Every customer receives a “BloomSnap” (a photo of the complete arrangement, before delivery, so you know exactly what she’s getting), and every arrangement is hand delivered the same day it’s ordered, and it’s NEVER delivered in a box. And every arrangement is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation! BloomNation is proud to support small business (local shops have seen increases in business of up to 500% since joining this florist network), and thrilled to off my readers 10% off your order using our special discount code: BloomNationTHC. You can connect with BloomNation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, on 5th & Hollyhock, and on their website.
Last spring, I discovered the joy of an individual cup of freshly brewed loose leaf tea when I was given a pair of Teavana Orange Angle Infuser Mugs for a Mother’s Day post I wrote. Nick was so impressed with the design that he actually finally agreed to visit a Teavana store with me, and he actually found a hot tea that he likes! This is a big deal — he doesn’t even drink hot chocolate. He got me this pretty tea tin and a couple of ounces of a sweet summery blend, and every now and then he even joins me for a cup of tea. ? Buy the mug here, and connect with Teavana on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
In an online culture where it’s becoming increasingly easy to find companies to transform your digital photographs into just about every kind of artwork and product imaginable, it’s nice to know what sets any one company apart from the competition. Presto Photo is one of the handful of companies I’ve had the privilege of trying out this past year, and I highly recommend their Jumbo Fine Art Photo Calender for anyone on your list who treasures meaningful photos, and likes to keep a hand written wall calender. I have thoroughly enjoyed flipping the page each month this past year, and I am really going to miss seeing my beautiful newborn gazing down at me from above my desk. Create your own functional work of art here, and connect with Presto Photo on their website, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Got a music lover on your list? Consider Dreamland by Charlie Dane, or one of her other albums. Her music is described as “pop-soul”, and she is a talented singer-songwriter who got her start as a teenager singing on local stages in her native upstate New York. Dreamland is her first album, featuring 10 original tracks, and she’s currently working on her 2nd album. Get her album here (you can also get it on iTunes if you prefer), and connect with Charlie on her website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
Wanda Brunstetter is well known for her Amish fiction, but did you know that she has a cookbook? The Best Of Amish Friends Cookbook Collection is the perfect gift for anyone on your gift list who is fascinated by Amish culture and food. From a super simple recipe for BBQ sauce, to a delicious Stove-Top Custard I plan to make later this month, it’s packed with yummy and interesting recipes, and divided up into convenient sections by recipe type. Buy it here, and connect with Wanda on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, and GodTube.
Sewing for a Royal Baby is a great gift for the experienced and traditional sewist in your life. The designs are sweet, very traditional and British, and most call for specialized fabrics. Published in celebration of the birth of the new royal baby last year, this book is a good bet for the sewist who has a lot of experience with complex designs and delicate fabrics, and a deep appreciation of heirloom clothing styles for young children. Buy it here, and find more from Sew Beautiful Magazine on their website.
We all know about the eternal debate — is it okay to give someone (particularly a woman) an appliance or tool that is primarily for working (vs something for relaxation, like a fancy coffee appliance)? I think every person will answer this question from their own paradigm, and the trick is to only give this type of gift to someone you’re certain will be happy about it, and not consider it a personal criticism or imply unpleasant expectations. For myself, I’m personally fine with receiving a nice appliance or tool that I really need and want, because taking care of my home and family is way easier with the right things to help, and the faster and better I can get those things done, the sooner I can do something fun or relaxing and forget about work. So if a Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright Vacuum Cleaner showed up under my tree (particularly if I didn’t already own a good vacuum, and didn’t know this one was coming), I would be thrilled! Anything to make chores easier and faster, is a great gift in my book. I received this one to test in my home, and I love it! My only caveat is that you’ll want to give this vacuum to someone who doesn’t have any issues with upper back pain or weakness, as the weight rests in your hand, and the vacuum is powerful enough that it pulls forward on its own when turned on. Shark has a well-earned reputation for powerful and versatile vacuums, and the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright Vacuum Cleaner definitely lives up to that reputation! Buy it here. You can learn more about this vacuum here, find more great products on their website, and connect with Shark via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. You can also read my more detailed review here.
Board game lovers in your life? Make their day with Wiz-War from Fantasy Flight Games! Battle your friends as powerful wizards, and laugh and yell until your sides split. My husband got this game for his birthday a couple of years ago, and we still play it at least once a month; it’s a great game! Buy it here, and find more from Fantasy Flight Games on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.
Several years ago, Nick and I stumbled onto the funniest and most uncomfortable blog on the interwebs, and we still find ourselves quoting it all the time (we’re positive our daughter is the god of cake, for instance). Last Christmas, we were both so excited to see Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh available as a BOOK(!!!) that we actually each bought a copy for each other! #oops We ended up keeping one and gifting the other to our friend Steve, making two families happy, and this year we highly recommend this book for any humor lovers on your gift list. Our only caveat is that Allie has a serious mouth on her, and it’s all over her writing, so if you’re easily offended by the word f*ck, you’ll want to go ahead and move along. But if you can handle it in the spirit of sincerely deep human soul-examination and belly-busting comedic sketches, this is an AWESOME book, and you’ll love it! Buy it here, read Allie’s blog (she doesn’t update often, but it’s well worth reading her recommended posts), and follower her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and check out her store.
For anyone who uses a high volume of computer files or memory, an external hard drive is an essential piece of equipment; I recommend the WD My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive. This one happens to be mine, rather than Nick’s, and I highly recommend it! It’s got 1TB of memory, is super easy to set up and use, and it comes with it’s own dedicated USB cable, and a tiny indicator light that changes color if it starts to heat up, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally frying it if you leave it plugged in frequently (please tell me I’m not the only one who worries about these things). Buy it here, and find other great products from WD on their website.
Experience a new game every time you play with the nearly-endless deck combinations possible in Smash Up from AEG. Nick discovered this battle card game at the 2013 Chicago Comic Con, and thanks to the magic of game expansions, it just gets cooler all the time! Buy the base game here, and learn more on the website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Gifts For Kids
These are our favorite gifts for children for this year’s Christmas gift guide. Serenity approved!
My favorite children’s book right now is an adorable one called The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen. I first saw this adorable book at my sister-in-law’s house, then tracked it back to our local library when she finally returned it, then quickly realized that she and I were in a bidding war of some sort to see who could get to the book faster every time one of us returned it. So Nick and I just bought the darn thing, in a wonderful board book version, to stop the madness! Serenity is an even bigger fan than we are of the delightful Mr. Fish and all of his aquatic friends, so she was pretty darn happy about it. And then, to our utter delight, we found out that there’s more than one book, and were offered all of them to review on this blog! ? We said yes with way more enthusiasm than either of us care to admit, and when the new books arrived we made Serenity’s cousins extremely happy by passing our board book copy on to them. Best yet, the books arrived with a special friend for Serenity – a plush Mr. Fish friend! He’s one of her favorite stuffies, now, and lives on her bed with Pinkie Pie and Steve the Pig. You can buy your own copies of these delightful books by clicking on the titles: The Pout Pout Fish, The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big Dark, The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School, and Smile, Pout-Pout Fish (board book). You can find Mr. Fish as a plush toy here, or in a “tank” with the original book here. You can connect with Deborah on her website and blog!
Serenity’s #1 gift guide suggestion this year are the delightful pals of My Little Pony. If you’re not familiar with the adorable children’s show, you’re missing out — and yes, I’m talking to YOU, mom and dad! I never would have guessed that I’d fall in love with a silly show for little girls, but I not only have, it’s now one of my very favorite shows. ? You can these little 6 inch pony pals a lot of places, but I suggest the following, as they’re a good value vs big box stores: Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Twilight Sparkle.
For any Frozen or Disney fan in your life who likes to get creative with their hair, I’ve got two fantastic books for you! Disney Frozen Hairstyles features 28 beautiful hairstyle tutorials, inspired by Anna and Elsa from the already-classic film. Disney Princess Hairstyles features an impressive 40 gorgeous hairstyles! Every hairstyle is shown with step-by-step instructions and images, so anyone can learn to recreate these awesome looks. Even the most squirmy of little girls will want to sit still long enough to look like her favorite princess! Serenity absolutely loves these books, and I’m really looking forward to her hair growing out enough that we can do some of these with her. ? Buy the books here and here, and connect with all things Disney here.
Do you remember Goodnight Moon? I had the board book as a little girl, and my daughter has one now. I’ve seen spoofs of this book floating around, and have never really been impressed with any of them, so I was thrilled to see a new book out by the original author! Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown is a charming collection of poems, lyrics, and lullabies gathered together posthumously by super-fan Amy Gary. In the final years of Margaret’s life, she had been working on setting many of her poems to music, and her dream has finally been realized in a special music CD lovingly created by Tom Proutt and Emily Gary as a tribute to this prolific and well-loved children’s author. The illustrations are the contributions of twelve world class illustrators who lovingly bring Margaret’s visions to life for her fans, young and old. Nick, Serenity, and I love Goodnight Songs — both the book and the included music CD — and we know you will, too! Buy it here, and learn more about Margaret Wise Brown’s life and work on her website.
I have long admired HABA for their commitment to high quality, original design, charming story, and dedication to environmental integrity. I’m very excited that one of these adorable little Baby Doll Fritzi babies is on his way to my house for a sweet little girl I know. Serenity is going to love Fritzi (and with any luck, he’ll help her forget about wanting me to “putta baby in your tummy, Mommy! I wanna baby hithter!!”), and I think I’m going to love him, too. Nick and I don’t have a problem with conventional toys, but we love being able to give Serenity toys that are safe and unique, and that will last her well past the time she’s actively playing with them. You can find Fritzi here, and connect with HABA on their website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Some of my fondest memories of childhood, few as they were, are of snuggling with my mother, listening to her read stories to me before bed. Even though Serenity is too young, yet, to sit still for more than a fast paced board book, I’m always on the lookout for a good story to add to our collection for when she’s a little older. Winterfrost by Michelle Houts is one such book. A chapter book most suited for 10-12 year olds if they’ll be reading it themselves, but I think you could probably read it to a child as young as 6-7 without difficulty. It’s the charming story of a little girl left alone in charge of her baby sister while her parents leave for a couple of weeks to care for elderly family members. They forget to put out the Christmas rice pudding for their barn nisse – a fairy creature, and to their knowledge nothing more than a whimsical tradition – until Klakke the barn nisse gets his nose bent out of shape at the oversight, and impulsively runs off with the baby! It’s a simple story, and sweet, with lessons on responsibility and kindness. Buy it here, and connect with the author on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Last Christmas we surprised Serenity with a Fisher-Price Little People Happy Sounds Home to join the barn she got for her first birthday. A full year later, and she still plays with it every single day! I call that “bang for your buck” — she’s collected a ton of extra people and animals, including a now-discontinued Noah’s Ark playset, and while we haven’t settled on her gift for this year quite yet, we’re definitely considering adding more Little People to her collection this year. I was really disappointed when I couldn’t find the previous version of the house as I thought it looked sturdier than the new one, but I had to eat my words; this current version of the house holds up extremely well to constant play, and after a full year of play nothing is missing or broken or even scuffed up! We’re huge fans. ? Buy it here, and connect with Fisher-Price on their website, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
Disney Poster-A-Page Books are a wonderful gift that just keeps on giving. Every book contains nine super-sized posters, and every single page in the quarter-inch-thick book is it’s own 8.5×11 poster! Every page is easily removable (unless your toddler does it herself, in which case it might come out missing a piece, as pictured above), and there are enough pages in every book to plaster your child’s room with their Disney favorites! The super-sized posters are almost all full color (as are the regular page-size posters), but Serenity ripped one of them right out of the book in a fit of delight specifically because it was left black and white, to be colored in by a young fan. And these aren’t just for kids – adult fans of the Avengers and Star Wars will be pleased to see tons of art and great posters for displaying in man caves (or bedrooms, if you’re us), everywhere! For your convenience, I’ve linked each book title to where you can find them to buy: Disney Frozen: Magical Moments Poster-A Page, Disney Princess Poster-A-Page: Magical Moments, Star Wars Episodes I-VI: The Skywalker Saga Poster-A-Page, Star Wars Rebels: Rogue Heroes Poster-A-Page (not pictured), Disney Junior: Let’s Play! Poster-A-Page, and Disney Junior Sophia the First Poster-A-Page: Practice Makes Princess. Find more books from Disney here.
101 Kids Activities That Are The Bestest, Funnest Ever! is the ultimate boredom buster for kids ages 3 – infinity! From painting with feet, to rubber band puzzles to creating your own craft supplies, this book has you covered for endless hours of fun and creativity the whole family can enjoy. Every pages is in glossy full color with tips, tricks, photos, and detailed instructions for every idea in the book. Buy it here, and find more fun on Holly and Rachel’s website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest!
One of our favorite discoveries this fall was this adorable board book and playset from BabyLit. They take classic stories and retell them for very young children and babies, featuring artwork from talented illustrator, Alison Oliver. We received an assortment of books and products from BabyLit, including The Jungle Book: a BabyLit Animals Primer and Playset, which is definitely our favorite of the bunch! The words and concepts are extremely simple, but for anyone who knows the story of Mouglie and his friends it’s delightfully nostalgic and adorably fresh at the same time. We love the cute punch-out, slide-together characters, and the overall whimsy of the art and story. ? We do recommend this either for a child a little bit older than Serenity (who attempted to drink Baloo’s lemonade, destroying it in the process), or be prepared to keep an eye on the pieces; they’re very sturdy and well made, but they are still constructed of cardboard. You can purchase The Jungle Book: a BabyLit Animals Primer and Playset here, or get the book by itself here. Find more adorable products from BabyLit on their website, connect with them on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, and learn more about the illustrator here. Feeling extra festive? You can download a cute holiday app from BabyLit here or here!
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Guides for a Greener Planet: The Kid’s Guide to Exploring Nature is a great gift for any nature-loving child in your life. Packed with tons of information – how to keep a nature journal; animals, plants, and insects by region and season – gorgeous full-color illustrations, and a handy tips section for adult involvement, this book is a fantastic resource for any child or family, and an especially valuable asset to home school libraries and science teachers. Buy it here, and connect with the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens on their website, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Flickr, and Instagram.
Embark on a silly and laugh-filled rollick through the woods with a band of goofy characters intent on getting close to the wildlife. Shh! We Have A Plan is a unique and amusing picture book by up and coming author and illustrator Chris Haughton, named one of Time magazine’s DESIGN 100 for his work for Fair Trade and People Tree. His bold and unique illustrations will capture the imaginations of readers of all ages, and you’ll love sharing this title with you children this Christmas. Buy it here, and connect with Chris on his website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Duct Tape Mania and Rubber Band Mania are two extremely fun titles from Studio Fun Books that will keep on giving all year long. Simply add a couple rolls of duct tape and a big bag of rubber bands, and you’re set! Best yet, the whole family can get in on the fun, with more than eighty projects between the two books, of varying skill levels and time commitments. And with fun trivia — is it duct tape, or duck tape? — and super detailed instructions with pictures for every project, you can set your (reading) kids loose and go do your own thing, too. I’m personally a huge fan of the duct tape project that transforms your average bicycle into a color-tastic explosion of awesome. ? Buy these titles here and here (don’t forget your duct tape and rubber bands), and connect with Studio Fun Books on their website and on Facebook.
Looking for a great stocking stuffer idea? Try these!
If you have someone on your list who loves natural products and avoiding icky chemicals, you’re going to love Good Earth Beauty. They’re a curator of a wide array of natural brands and products, and best of all, they have their own line of Good Earth Beauty Exclusives, which are delightful! I received an assortment of products earlier this season, and my favorites are definitely the Activated Charcoal Soap + Tea Tree and the Bentonite Clay Detox Soap (you can buy them here, and here). Connect with this brand on their website.
Remember up above where I said that I was surprised to watch a children’s television show, and suddenly found myself in love with My Little Pony? Well, here’s some hard evidence — this adorable My Little Pony Rainbow Dash Envelope Wallet is the one I use every day! I’ve had so many people ask me about it that I decided some of you would probably be super excited to know where I got it (and if you end up being the recipient of this particular gift, I can hardly blame you — it was my birthday present to myself this year). You can buy it here.
After two decades, you’ve probably heard of Veggie Tales (if you haven’t, you’re missing out). Well, the talented creators of the show have done it again, only this time they’ve managed to bring the most popular — and life changing — book ever written to life with What’s In The Bible? I found Vol. 1 at a yard sale earlier this year, and immediately fell in love. The puppets are hilarious and extremely well performed, the screen writing and music are superb, and these DVDs are so jam-packed with interesting information that viewers of all ages will learn from them, and have fun in the learning. I was sent Vol. 10 Jesus Is The Good News! Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, and it’s phenomenal! I can hardly wait to complete our collection — we plan to use these lovely DVDs in our homeschooling efforts, as well as for entertainment — and even more so, I am super excited to see what these guys come up with next! You can buy Vol. 10 here. Connect with What’s In The Bible? on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. You can watch the official trailer for Vol. 10 here.
It’s no secret that I am a gigantic fan of vanilla — the more exotic, the better. So I was thrilled to pieces to receive a bottle of Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract from Nielsen-Massey! They have a reputation for excellence, and their vanillas are crafted with care, both for the bean, and for the workers and land involved in their creation. I’ve used this vanilla twice, and love it! Buy it here, and connect with Nielsen-Massey on their website, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
Nick and I went to see Pacific Rim in theaters last year, and we loved it so much we immediately bought our own copy on Bluray as soon as it came out! Giant robots vs giant monsters? Yes please! We’re super excited that a sequel is in the works, and can only hope that it’s as awesome. You can buy a copy of Pacific Rim here, and check out the official trailer here.
If I were a gambling woman, I’d bet money that you’ve got at least one person on your Christmas list who uses a smartphone. Until recently, I wasn’t one of them, but I kept hearing how much easier life as a blogger is with one, so I finally bit (and I’m glad I did). The one problem is the risk of running out of battery life while you’re away from your charger, and it’s not a fun prospect, especially if your phone is also your GPS device, and you’re out and about in wintery conditions with your toddler! Thankfully, blogging sent me a perk in the form of a myCharge Energy Shot battery. It works with all smartphones, is rechargeable (woot!!), is small and lightweight, and comes in a convenient plastic cylindar so you don’t have to worry about losing the tiny USB cable that comes with it. I love this thing! And it’s barely bigger than a tube of lipstick, so it’s easy to carry in almost any bag. Buy it here, and learn more about myCharge on their website, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
That’s all, folks!
Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading our Christmas Gift Guide 2014!
*Several items in this gift guide were given to us in exchange for inclusion in the guide, but we purchased many of them ourselves; either way, all opinions are 100% my own, and I only endorse brands and products that I am comfortable using with my own family. Most of the product links in this guide are affiliate links, sales from which help support this blog, but never increase the price you pay. Thank you for your support!*