Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Loot.

Well, I did pretty well on Christmas.  It seems The Texan and my mom actually read this blog and jot down some ideas.  Here's what I found under the tree...

Mwah!  Thank you, thank you!  Next up...my birthday on Thursday!

What was under your tree?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rooney to Lisbeth.

How do you go from this...

to this?

Rooney Mara's transformation in to Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is insane.  She claims the character came about after a very "intense" day of eyebrow bleaching, hair chopping, lip/brow/nose/nipple piercing (yes, nipple and yes, you see it.  Several times.) Intense indeed.

The movie is fantastic.  Full disclosure - I did not read the book, so those purists may disagree with me.  But I loved it and I am still thinking about the flick today.  I may even go pick up the second book in the series...

Will you see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Push Present.

I've had a few friends who have had their first babies recently and it got me to think about the notion of the "Push Present." 

For those who have never heard of this, it's the present you give the Mom after she "pushes" out that baby.  It's rather silly and just an excuse to get a gift, but I love it!

At the time I had The Bug, my friend was working at a jewelry store, so she had lots of amazing suggestions for The Texan on what to gift me.  Here's what they came up with...

Jude Frances Hoop "Huggies" with...

Hugs & Kisses Earring Charms. I was thrilled when I received these - my ears were the only part that felt pretty and skinny after giving birth!

What's fun about these earrings is that you can wear the hoops alone, which I do quite often, or add the charm when you want more sparkle. 

She also makes other charms so you can always add to your collection...

Have you heard of the Push Present?  Did you get one?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Edward the Elf.

Yes, we are participating in the Elf on the Shelf craze.  No, I am not nearly as creative as some of the other pictures I have seen out there...

Our Elf, Edward, gets pretty crazy by hiding in the bananas (boring), hanging upside down on the tree (snooze) and peeking out of dad's boots (stinky).  He had to shake things up a bit. 

One idea I loved is having the Elf get in to the presents.  The Bug asks almost every morning if it's time to open gifts yet.  It's really sweet and shows how much he is in to the season this year.  I figured one teeny tiny present that Edward had already half opened would be fun for him this morning. 

Crazy Edward!  And if you are curious as to what he got into, it's the Hape Bamboo Mini-Vehicles.  Seriously one of the greatest toys $5 can buy.

There are 8 mini-cars in the collection all made of bamboo and decorated with different bright colors.  They are very durable and the perfect size for tiny tots.  And like I said, at $4.99 each, they are pretty inexpensive. 

We got the Black Low Rider as a potty-training reward and Edward gifted him the Orange Twin Turbo this morning.  The Bug loves pushing these around the house and I usually toss them in my bag for entertainment at restaurants.  I've given these as gifts too and most moms have commented how much their boys loved them. 

What has your Elf been in to?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Teacher Gifts.

Now that I am almost finished with my shopping, all the "little gifts" seem to be popping up - something for The Texans administrative team, a package for the sitter and a trinket or two for The Bug's teacher. 

Ask my mom, a retired school teacher, what a teacher wants and she would tell you a gift card...but I don't love something so impersonal.  So this year, I have been on the hunt for a cute and thoughtful gift for the lady that is shaping young minds. 

These candles from Nell Hills are heavenly.   They are a sweet size (4" tall!) and shape too.  And the Orange Vanilla scent has a hint of holiday, but works for every day. 

Anthropologie is always a great source for interesting gifts.  I love this Farmer's Egg Crate, which I own and have re-purposed for jewelry storage.  Mine is white and sits on my nightstand holding earrings, rings and other small pieces of jewelry.  I think it's unexpected and something one doesn't usually buy for themselves. 

Stationery is always needed and these customizable Pen and Pencil notepads from Paper Source are adorable.  They are "teacher-y" but still usable in everyday life.  If you wanted to avoid the teacher theme all together, you could always put together your own selection of notes.  Paper Source is great for that too! 

You can never go wrong with a classic Pottery Barn picture frame.  They are the best, in my opinion.  I received lots of these as wedding gifts and they still look great.  I think it would be hilarious to put a picture of your child in the frame, but not sure if the teacher would think it quite as funny as I do!

What's your go-to teacher gift?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pretty Packages.

I began wrapping our Christmas gifts over the weekend and I have to say, I kind of enjoyed it.  I used to really hate wrapping gifts, but once I started making a "theme" for each year (I know, crazy), it brought a little enjoyment to the process. 

This year, I went with a red, silver and white theme.  Silver paper with red snowflakes, red paper with silver trees and Santa paper (for The Bug) with red and white accents. 

I've also developed a love for accessories on a package.  I used to be a gal that just slapped a pre-made bow on.  But now, I love pouring over the ribbon, finding a cute little something to tie on the package and sourcing unique pre-made bows. 

This year, I found tiny snowflakes and ornaments at Target.  Most everything was priced around 50¢ - a super cheap way to make your packages special.  The candy cane idea is very cute - thinking between my dog and my child, my packages would be licked to death before Christmas Day.

Do you get excited about wrapping? 

Monday, December 12, 2011


I'm loving the Charriol line of jewelry I saw last week at Halls.  A fancy version of the friendship bracelet. I love the black steel cable against the sparkly diamonds.  The line was started in the early 80's by a French artist.  The gold and steel cable designs are actually patented, so you won't see this anywhere else. 

Cool huh?   The problem is that I love them stacked, like above.  Which means I want three of them...

Nordstrom carries them as well.  You should have seen the ladies at the counter over the weekend - going crazy for these gorgeous jewels. 

There's something for everyone - black, white gold, stainless, yellow gold, pink gold.  One diamond, three diamonds, square diamonds, round diamonds.  That's what makes them so special - you can really make them your own. 

Prices start at $295, so they are definitely a special occasion purchase.  If you haven't completed your Christmas list, I highly suggest these beautiful baubles. 

Personally, I like the mix of metals, which further reinforces that multiples are necessary.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stocking: Little Boy

One of the better parts about Christmas morning is the stockings.  I love all the little odds and ends (and candy!) that is usually inside mine. 

Our family stockings usually contain wrapped presents with a clue on them - something that my husband's family grew up doing.  (i.e. "For your pearly whites" and the gift would be a toothbrush.)  It's a pretty fun way to add a little more excitement to our morning. 

We (er, I mean Santa) took care of The Bug's stocking over the weekend and I think he's going to be very pleased. 

I Spy Wonder Tubes

Filled with water, glitter, sand and classic I Spy objects, this is going to keep him busy for hours (or maybe 10 minutes!)  And at $4.99 a piece, you could afford to get a couple of colors.

Dino Dudes Scratch and Sketch

Dinos are big in our household.  And so is playing "school."  This activity book is perfect for snowy afternoons. 

Travel Pouch Jigsaw Puzzle:  Space

We're slowly getting in to Space and this travel puzzle will be perfect for learning the planets.  Plus, I like that all the pieces are contained in their own seal-able bag.  There is nothing more annoying than losing puzzle pieces!

Tegu Pocket Pouch

I've shared my love of Tegu before.  But I especially love this 8-piece set of magnetic blocks.  Once you start playing with them, they are pretty addictive.  This set comes with their own pouch - perfect for storing in my bag should the need for entertainment arise.

What's in your stocking?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Window Wonderland.

As some of you know, I work retail.  It can be a little hectic this time of year.  Believe it or not, not everyone is filled with Holiday joy!  One of my favorite things about my job is all the ah-mazing window displays retailers put out to celebrate the season.  Here's a peek into my morning walk to work...

Anthropologie.  Ok, this is a NYC store, but my local store is going with this same concept.  A million little slides shaped in to a tree.  So unique and unexpected - just like Anthro. 

This is Halls, which is a local version of a Saks or Neimans.  It was founded by the Hall family back in the day, who are the same folks behind Hallmark.  Their windows are always special and the Holidays are no exception.

The Crew.  Loving the black, white and modern snowflakes - let the clothes be the pop of color. 

This year everything seems especially cheery and festive!  Happy Holidays!