these are a few of my favorite things

after picking favorites from other bloggers' gift guides, i had an itch to create one of my own. so i threw together a quick selection of things (almost all of which we already own ourselves and heartily approve of or are gifting this year) that are all available on amazon and can get to you in time for christmas morn (with free shipping too).

we are so excited to give judah this awesomely authentic brass telescope. we may even arrange a treasure hunt to find this bad boy because it practically screams, "YAR! a pirate buried this here!" it comes with the most perfect little wooden box, has leather-looking binding and REALLY WORKS. 

judah actually already has this melissa & doug latch puzzle board. we got it for layla for her birthday but she doesnt really have the dexterity for it yet and judah LOVES manipulating all the sturdy metal latches. 

this set of pantone swatch coffee mugs is pretty much amazing. they come in a few different color sets and in espresso size as well. if i saw someone drinking from these i would let them design my website or kitchen instantly

after drooling over it when we were browsing a paper shop last december raechel got me the 2012 version of this dabney lee calendar last christmas and it has cheered up on every single entrance to work i have made this year as i see each gorgeous month beaming at me from the wall. the 2013 edition does not disappoint.

for the literal heart: i want to gently encourage jesse to exercise without having to lose him during the defcon parenting daylight hours. solution: run after the kids go to bed and stay safe in the dark by wearing this reflecty-blinky armband. it works so well, it's mega-lightweight and is the best night-running accessory i have tried (i've tried lots). if only he could look as cool as the rollerblading model.

for the figurative heart: UNBROKEN. cant believe i am saying this but: this book is better than harry potter. it's a true story and i read it in one night and didnt miss the sleep one little bit. if you dont love this story i will give you your money back*

 layla is getting both of these and i know she is going to flip. the first is a set of magnetic dolls whose many outfits and accessories she can switch out and mix up. like paper dolls, but durable and way easier to use. i think this lil set will get lots of use in the car and at restaurants as a quiet, brain-involving toy.

this wooden mailbox set might be the one i am most excited about. wooden postcards with velcro-able stamps, a real lock with a key to open the box and different width slots for dropping the letters in. the potential for imagination play, the craftsmanship and durability and the prettiness of this toy have me looking forward to having it in the house (rare).

okay, super-attractive confession: stress-induced cankers happen up in this house more than we'd like to admit. and we are babies, jesse and me, and cant cope with their debilitating pain.  orajel lasts about 5 minutes and numbs the rest of my mouth so we had just resigned ourselves to living in pain until one of these monsters bore its way straight through the side of our face. i was really skeptical about all the rave reviews of this canker-rid remedy, but after using it for a few months whenever a mouth-crater erupts we are hardcore believers. the relief lasts seriously for about 12 hours. i'll never be without a bottle of this mess in our house.

i had always scoffed at these herb-snippers as a kitchen tool for richies that was ragingly impractical. then i cooked like 85 things in a row calling for fresh cilantro or green onions and i caved. these save time (and stress cankers too in the mad rush to get dinner made) like whoa and rarely miss a dishwasher cycle in my house since they are in use so often. 

if you like the "wheel of time" or "a song of ice and fire" series, you will love the way of kings. (i'm showing a little bit of my nerd side here, but let's just embrace it). for weeks after i read it, i kept finding myself missing the main character and wondering when volume 2 would be published so i could reunite with him.

and for a less-than-literal nod to katniss, this arrow necklace says "i'm from district 12" when youre at comic con, but also says, "i'm just stylish and awesome" when youre in less geek-friendly environs. youre the girl on fire...but under cover. (actually nectar is offering a version of this necklace for free with any scarf purchase this week)

there you have it. my favorites under the tree this year.

*not really though.


  1. Ooh! Thanks for sharing these! I had never heard of Canker-Rid. I get stress-related canker sores too, and I'm definitely going to try this!

  2. I drink my evening tea from one of those mugs. Can I design your kitchen? Would your answer still stand if I mentioned that I work for their corporate parent and the mug was our Christmas gift last year? Oh, and I'm an accountant? But I'll redesign your kitchen if you let me! :)

  3. That telescope is killer. He will love that for years to come. Annabel used to have a latch puzzle like that but wasn't very into it either (maybe it's a boy thing)? Now I SO am wishing we'd kept it because Levi loves playing with latches and handles of all kinds. (Although, perhaps it's not the wisest idea to be teaching him how to open those just yet...) Annabel also has two sets of the magnetic paper dolls and is enjoying them a lot more now than she did at 2. She used to just stack all the pieces up and make the girl an overdressed Eskimo. :) Hopefully Layla will have more fashion sense!

  4. That telescope is killer! Judah will enjoy that for years to come. Annabel used to have a latch board like that and I am SO wishing we'd kept it, because Levi is way into all things latchy and handley right now. He would love it. Annabel also has two sets of those magnetic dress up dolls, and she is enjoying them a lot more now than she did at two. She would just stack all the clothes up in a huge pile on top of the doll until she was an overdressed Eskimo. :) Hopefully Layla will have more fashion sense!

  5. Can Layla send a pretend postcard to Hong Kong? Love the list!

  6. Can Layla send a pretend postcard to Hong Kong? Love the list!

  7. Can Layla send a pretend postcard to Hong Kong? Love the list!

  8. Totally ordered that telescope for my 2-year-old moments after reading this post. He will be amazed to have his very own "spyglass" like Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Thank you for the brilliant gift idea.