Perfect Last Minute Gift for Girls

Last Minute Gift for Girls - Printable!

Christmas is THIS week! Are you ready?!

I just have to pick up a pair of tights for Isca, some sketching supplies for Noa, a bag of oranges for stockings, and ingredients for Christmas dinner and dessert. I’m going to make a croquembouche. It will either be amazing or a total disaster. I don’t want to get cocky but I’m a pretty good cook so I’m leaning toward amazing…but once upon a time this happened so stay tuned.

Anyway, I wanted to share a great last minute gift for girls with you all. The thing I love about it most is you probably don’t even have to leave your house to put it together… I’m talking about our printable paper dolls!

Last Minute Gift for Girls - Printable!

Tips for Printing

I prefer to print the cover and dolls on card stock. The dolls need to be sturdy enough to hold the clothes and accessories. You can also laminate them with a laminator or you can seal each doll between clear contact paper. Both of these steps are optional – they will just make the dolls more durable. Once you purchase the download you can reprint the dolls as often as you like so no worries if you don’t protect them!

Print Multiple Times

Once you purchase this download it is yours to keep forever! You can print and reprint as often as you’d like. That means you can reprint one page if you made a mistake or lost an outfit. You can also print several copies as party favors or gifts. Personally, I am printing two packs as Christmas gifts for my daughters, Isca (7) and Hollis (4). We will probably print them out for birthday party gifts for friends this year, too!

Last Minute Gift for Girls - Printable!

As our Christmas gift to all of you we wanted to give you a coupon code for the Girl Pack which is good for 25% off through 12/25/2015! Just type in LASTMINUTE2015 and you’ll be good to go! You can also shop my Amazon store for paper doll supplies and accessories you might not have around your house!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everybody!

Gift Guide: Books

Contains affiliate links. Some products included in this guide were given to me for review.

Gift Guide Books

I have put together a gift guide with some of our favorite books we’ve read and learned from this year. Many of them are classics but they are books my kids have read over and over or haven’t been able to put down! I’ve also included some new coloring books we have available in our shop now. They are easy to print at home and fun to work on for children and adults!

Bambert’s Book of Missing Stories by Reinhardt Jung

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Paper Doll Series: Girl Pack by Kailyn Cano

Adult Coloring Series: Zentangle by Kailyn Cano

Parent/Child Coloring Series: Animals by Kailyn Cano

Parent/Child Coloring Series: Zentangle Animals by Kailyn Cano

Jillee Bean and the One Good Thing by Jill Nystul and Samantha Hollister

The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering by Valerie McKeehan

Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert

Matilda by Roald Dahl

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis

The Magician’s Nephew (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis

You can find all our gift and style guides by clicking on the picture below!

Holiday Gift and Style Guides

The Art of Chalk Lettering + Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Workman Publishing Company and contains affiliate links.

The Art of Chalk Lettering

I have always admired chalk art but haven’t tried my hand at it until now. I recently received The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering: Create and Develop Your Own Style by Valerie McKeehan and hurried out for some chalk to start practicing.

The Art of Chalk Lettering

This book is like a beautiful and wonderful textbook – Valerie is very thorough in her explanations and the visuals are really helpful. The book is organized really well so you can move through the techniques easily as your skills improve. There are vocabulary terms you’ll have to get used to and once you do, you will find the tutorials fun and rewarding. The book also comes with fold out chalkboards so you can practice right away!

I started off with an easy cursive phrase to place behind our ceramic nativity.

The Art of Chalk Lettering

The Art of Chalk Lettering

Next, I decided to do a trickier holiday wreath to display on our mantle. I had no idea if it would turn out well or not but I am so happy with it! My mom and Noa are the artists in the family so I was nervous I was going to create something laughable. When Noa saw it he was really impressed! He also asked if he can borrow the book sometime.

The Art of Chalk Lettering

Not too bad, right?! I really like how it turned out for my first try at working with chalk! I feel like our driveway sidewalk chalk game is going to be pretty strong this summer so keep an eye out for it on Instagram!

You can buy The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering HERE or the Kindle version HERE or try your luck at winning a copy below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out Flax & Twine – she’s working on a project using chalk markers and I can’t wait to see it!

Gift Guide: Toys Part II

Contains affiliate links. Some products included in this guide were given to me in exchange for our review and possible inclusion in this gift guide.

Gift Guide: Toys Part II

Here is Gift Guide: Toys Part II of the Toys Gift Guide this year. Don’t miss TOYS: PART I and all our GIFT AND STYLE GUIDES!

We own 9/10 of these toys and the 10th is on Noa’s dream toys list! He is saving his $$ as we speak! The other 9 are toys we have sampled, reviewed, or purchased on our own. ALL of them are toys that my kids have spent lots of time playing with. Moment of honesty: brands send me a lot of stuff to try out. It is a major perk of blogging for our family – who doesn’t like free, cool stuff? However, I have not included the duds in these gift guides. I want to share the things that will be useful for you and not waste your money or your time.

Gift Guide: Toys Part II

Playmobil Super 4 Musical Flower Tower with Twinkle Building Kit– I have to say, I was not very familiar with Playmobil toys before this year. I’ve always been aware of the brand but I don’t think we have ever had any of their play sets. Most of my kids toys have come as gifts and nobody ever gave us anything from Playmobil I guess. Anyway, I have been really impress with the amount of DETAIL these toys have! Each set comes with all kinds of accessories and tiny parts that make the set unique and awesome. Not many brands put as much effort in the design of their sets and I appreciate Playmobil doing so. Ok, this tower set is unique because it can be condense down and store all the accessories for travel. The girls love playing all over the house so this is nice because they can easily take it wherever their imaginations and feet are headed!

Hog Wild Unicorn Popper– I got this toy at Blogger Bash and the kids have had a lot of fun shooting the rainbow balls all over the house. Its hard to get mad when they hit me in the face because: Rainbows. Unicorn. Squishy Tummy. It’s a little tough for Hollis (4) to shoot it but Isca (7) and Noa (10) are pros.

Nerf Rebelle– Isca has had this message shooter for a few years and loves it. She has a few other guns but her favorite colors are pink and purple so this is one of her favorites. It comes with a special pen so you can write secret messages on the foam bullets. The messages can be seen under the red plastic bullet holder.

Laser Pegs 12-in-1 Variety Building Set– This is another product I got to try while at Blogger Bash over the summer. We got a small sample from them and Noa was SOLD! He loves toys that encourage building so adding lights makes this even better. I like that they can be used with the Legos we already have :)

Toy State Nikko VaporizR 2 Red Radio Control Vehicle– Noa really enjoys this remote control car because it is rough and tumble just like him! He plays outside rain or shine and this toys is PERFECT for puddles, snow, dirt, grass, cement, etc. Here’s a post all about it and Noa’s video showing you more:

Gift Guide: Toys Part II

Snap Circuits SC-300 Electronics Discovery Kit– Luke saw these when he was looking at ideas for Noa’s birthday last month and they are one of the BEST presents we’ve ever gotten him. Like I said, Noa is a builder and he loves electronics so this has been a great way for him to explore and build and have so much fun! This set comes with tons of little projects you can build. He’s made fans, alarms, things that light up, etc. and he even started combining some of the projects to make some cool, crazy stuff all on his own. If you have a kid that loves to tinker around and build things then you will NOT be disappointed with Snap Circuits!

Shopkins– My girls love these fun little collectibles along with basically all the little girls in the world. And why wouldn’t they?! They are cute, mini, and collectible!

Playmobil Series 1 Blind Bag – Pretty much any toy that comes in a blind bag is going to be a hit with my children. Playmobil offers Boy and Girl figures in separate colored packaging. The figures inside can be a bit tricky to put together for kids, ok, maybe it took me a while to figure it out, too… But the end result is great figure to add to your collection!

Hog Wild Toys Popper Unicorn Keychain– We also have the full-sized version of this toy, like I mentioned above, but this is so fun and cute we had to add it to the list, too! The best part about this mini version is that the ball is attached to the unicorn with a string so you can’t lose it! This would be a great stocking stuffer for the holidays or a great little stress reliever to keep on your desk, if you’re young at heart!

WowWee MiPosaur– This is the toy that Noa would LOVE to have! I got to see these robotics in action at Blogger Bash and they are neat! They can do all kinds of different things like play fetch, go for a walk, dance, chase, etc. It makes a great alternative to a real pet :)

You can find all our gift and holiday style guides here!

Holiday Gift and Style Guides

Gift Guide: Games

Contains affiliate links. Some products included in this guide were given to me in exchange for our review and possible inclusion in this gift guide.

Gift Guide: Games

I am so excited to share this games gift guide because we LOVE to play games! Luke and I spent a ton of time getting to know each other over card games when we first met and we have continued playing all kinds of games together over the years. It has been so fun to see which games our kids gravitate toward as they have gotten older. We own all but two of these games so you can trust that we are sharing things we really use and love. I hope you and your family enjoy them as much we do – they are such a great way to bond and make wonderful memories!

Gift Guide: Games

Tenzi– We have had so much fun playing this game since my aunt introduced it to us last year! It a racing dice game that you play against others. You can play using the games that come in the dice pack or you can buy a deck of cards with different ideas on them. You can find the deck of cards here.

Jenga Giant– We have been playing with our Jenga Giant for a few months now. It is really fun to play because it’s so big!

Monopoly Here & Now– My kids love this game but I have to admit I am not a huge fan, myself. We like to unplug on Sundays so they often break out the board games and this one comes off the shelf frequently.

Yahtzee– This is another board game we play often. The big kids are old enough to understand how it works and Hollis like rolling the dice so it makes for a fun time, especially when someone gets a YAHTZEE!!

Riddle Cube– Noa is probably the biggest fan of this game in our family. He loves anything where he can build and create and this game is perfect for that. You get to race the other players to form different shapes from a flexible cube. It’s fun to figure out how to manipulate the cube to make different things!

Gift Guide: Games

Lay It or Break It– My kids are ALL a fan of this one! I have to say that I’m a fan of watching them waddle across the room in a race to safely deliver their eggs to their nests!

Dimension– This game is one of my favorites. I discovered it at Sweet Suite at Blogger Bash this summer. Isca and I are the ones who like it the most. We are puzzle fans and this game uses strategy to solve different puzzles against the clock!

Magic 8 Ball– We don’t have a Magic 8 Ball but it is on Isca’s radar this year :) It’s such a classic sort of toy to have around the house and ask it all your deepest questions!

IQ Fit– This is such a fun little puzzle! It is perfect for travel as it is compact and comes in a plastic case. It has varying levels of difficulty which is great for the whole family!

Dreamworks Eye Found It!– I haven’t played this game yet but the kids love it. I asked the big kids what some of their favorite games are and they both yelled, “Eye Found It!”

Gift Guide: Games

Landmarks of The United States Jigsaw Puzzle– Isca and I are the puzzle people in the family and this is one of the puzzles we’ve done a few times this year. We actually have it set up on our coffee table right now and have been working on it REALLY slowly for a few weeks.

Scrabble Twist– We don’t own this game…yet! I first played it this summer and I think my big kids would really like it, especially Isca. She’s a bookworm/word lover so I think it would really appeal to her.

Checkers Reversible Rug– We got this rug a few years ago as a Christmas gift and the kids regularly pull it out to play checkers and tic-tac-toe. I love how it packs up easily and doesn’t take up tons of room.

Ubongo– This game is from the same makers as Dimension. It is another fun one where you race to solve a problem before your opponents. You are awarded points depending on how quickly you solve your puzzle.

Monopoly– Monopoly is probably my favorite board game of all time. It is such a great classic and we often spend a Sunday night around the table together playing this game. I know there are lots of editions out there but the classic version is my fave!

Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all our guides HERE!

Holiday Gift and Style Guides

Gift Guide: Toys Part I

Contains affiliate links. Some products included in this guide were given to me in exchange for our review and possible inclusion in this gift guide. Special thanks to Playmobil and Zing Toys

Gift Guide: Toys Part I

I can’t believe this year is almost over. 2015 has flown by for me, how about you? 2016 will be here before we know it and I sincerely hope it will be a slower year for us. I think it will be since we won’t be buying another home and trying to recover from that sort of shake up!

I really enjoyed working on last year’s gift guides (you can see them all here) and have been keeping notes about the things that have really stuck out to my kids. As they have gotten birthday gifts or mentioned toys to me I have been keeping my eye on which things they keep going back to play with over and over again. I don’t want to waste your time with products that haven’t been a hit with our own family.

To start this year’s series of guides we are going to do TOYS! This is going to be a two-parter so stay tuned for more fun toys in the next few days. We own every single one of these toys and each of them has been well-loved by at least one of my three kiddos…but usually it’s all three!

Gift Guide: Toys Part I

Playmobil Fire Engine with Lights & Sound Set– This is a great set for older kids (5-10). It was a bit difficult for my 10 year old to put together but I think he just got impatient with it. Once I took over and finished he was excited to check it out and start playing with it. This set can be combined with Playmobil’s RC set (find it here) to convert the fire engine to a remote controlled vehicle, which Noa was really excited to hear!

Here’s a video the kids made with ours if you’d like a tour!

Playmobil City Life Playground Set– The girls (4 and 7) LOVE this set! They haven’t outgrown the playground in the way that Noa has so they love having their own mini version to play with now that that the weather has grown too cold to go to ours daily.

Here’s the video the girls made to give you a close-up view of this adorable playground:

Qixels– I was introduced to this DIY toy at Blogger Bash earlier this summer. I got a sample at the conference and Noa was a big fan! I love that you can put the cubes together with water and that you can easily stick them back together if they break. Also, it’s a hands-on toy that encourages kids to build and design their own figures and accessories.

Legos– I know. Everyone knows about Legos but I have to include them because my kids, especially Noa, NEVER PUT THEM DOWN. EVER. There are Legos in every nook and cranny of this house and it’s because it is one of the greatest toys ever invented. They also get lost (okay, maybe I vacuum them) easily so a variety kit to replenish them never hurt anybody.

BoomCo Farshot Blaster– This is one of Isca’s favorite toys. I think Noa got it for her for a birthday or maybe a Christmas? Either way, she is a fan. And so is Noa. She is always complaining about him using it without asking!

Gift Guide: Toys Part I

Puppy In My Pocket Blind Bags– Hollis is probably my biggest blind bag fan. She loves watching YouTube videos of people opening them up! These make great stocking suffers and are a fun collection for kids!

Zing Fire Tek Zeon Bow– Noa and Isca are big fans of this bow! I am amazed at how quickly Noa was able to get comfortable with it and start hitting targets. Isca is a bit more awkward with it but she still likes to practice! I like the fact that the arrows have suction cup ends. Nobody has lost an eye and all of my walls and window are still intact thanks to those little suction cups!

Thames and Kosmos Solar Car Set Science Kit– Noa recently got this toy from a friend for his birthday. The girls were a bit interested in it but he is the one that really loves it. He is really into building things, especially things that move so this has been a great toy for him. He has been excited to explore and learn about solar power recently so he is thrilled to see it in action with this kit!

Hexbug Inchworm– Noa saw this in our Blogger Bash swag box and immediately claimed it! He loves tinkering around with robots and remote controlled toys so this has been right up his alley. I often hear him playing with it when he’s supposed to be cleaning his room :)

VTech Flipsies Sandy’s House and Ocean Cruiser– The girls have been playing with Sandy and her rad house for a few months now with no signs of getting bored. I love that it is engaging enough that they will play with it for long stretches of time!

You can find all our gift and style guides by clicking on the picture below!

Holiday Gift and Style Guides

Do your kids have a toy or two that they play with more than others? I’d love to hear about them!

Nikko VaporizR 2 Radio Control Car Reveiw

This post is sponsored by Toy State and contains affiliate links!

Tween Boy Gift Idea - Nikko Nano VaporizR 2

Noa, my oldest, was VERY excited to get to try out the Nikko VaporizR 2 Radio Control car from Toy State! He is starting to get to the age (9/10) where he’s kind of hard to shop for. Does he still want toys? If so, what kind?

Noa still likes toys but mostly ones that keep him active or outside. He has had his eye on the Nikko VaporizR 2 for awhile now after he read that it is amphibious. Yep, you can drive this car through puddles, snow, it can even drive on top of water! Here in Maryland we seem to get a lot of time off for snow days and I have a feeling this car is going to see a lot of action come January.

Here is Noa’s video review – we had to film it over two days because sometimes life just gets busy! Enjoy and be sure to subscribe to our channel if you are looking for more toy reviews. We have several coming soon!

You can buy the Nikko VaporizR 2 at Target, Toys R Us, K Mart, WalMart, and Amazon!

Looking for more gift ideas for the tweens in your life? Check these ideas out – click the pic for details!

Gift Guide: Tweens

Gift Guide: TWEENS

Post-Holiday Blues

The Post-Holiday Blues

It’s now mid-January.

Your tree is still up, drooping under the weight of ornaments, straggly tinsel and garlands.

You ate 10 plates of holiday cookies from neighbors and friends and gained as many pounds or more.

You made resolutions. 2015 was going to be your year! But you’ve already given up.

You are cold.

And lonely.

And sad.

Here are some things you can do to grab this year by the horns and get over the post-holiday blues!

1. Service- the easiest way to forget about your own unhappiness to to serve. It feeds your spirit. When you serve someone who is less fortunate than yourself you will be better able to appreciate the things you have and the accomplishments you have made. They don’t have to be huge acts of service- give someone a dollar, hold open a door, pick up someone’s dropped item, smile, give a compliment. Get your kids involved with some service ideas here.

2. Try Something New – Is there a museum, restaurant, or class you’ve been meaning to try? Get out there and do it!

3. Exercise – It doesn’t have to be a new gym membership or something huge. Check out the Sworkit App– you get a free workout that’s customized to your skill level, how much time you have, etc. It is free and on your phone so you can do it any time, anywhere. I love it because I can get in a quick 5 min. mini workout here and there. I have 3 little kids and our budget is tight as we are saving for a home.

4. Homemade Hot Cocoa and Movie Night – Sometimes a cozy night in is all you need to recover from the parties and events that happen during the holiday season. Invite friends and family over or do it by yourself! Check out our Homemade Hot Cocoa recipe here.

5. Start a Gratitude Journal – Spend a minute before bed and write one thing you were thankful for that day. It’s quick, easy, and will help turn your mind toward positive things.

6. Aromatherapy – My friend, Pam, from Drops of Nourishment shares about using essential oils to boost your mood here! Scent is so interesting- I love how certain smells can take you back in time, trigger memories, and change your feelings!

How do you get yourself out of the rut of sadness?

Gift Guide: Kids

Contains affiliate links.

Gift Guide: Kids

1. Sophia the First Dress Up
2. Doll
3. Book Club Subscription
4. R/C Truck
5. Modern Doll House
6. Magformers
7. Guess Who?
8. Piggy Bank

Gift Guide: Kids

9. Toddler Elsa Doll Playset
10. Art Set
11. Vintage Kitchen Set
12. LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box
13. Spider-man Figure
14. Yo-Yo
15. Teepee
16. Outdoor Playseticon

Gift Guide: Kids

17. Littlest Pet Shop Blind Bag
18. Jillee Bean and the One Good Thing
19. Skateboard
20. Big Cats
21. Minecraft Lego Set
22. Hair Accessory Set – Similar HERE (Pictured no longer available)
23. Jewelry Box
24. Construction Set
25. Grocery/Lemonade Stand

Give your kids the gift of using their imaginations this year! Screens are popular and fine in small doses but they don’t foster good old-fashioned whole-body playing like a jungle gym or fort.

Screens provide a “passive” playing experience- they feed a story or virtual experience. When your kids are given free-time they are forced to develop problem solving skills and learn their own preferences and interests for themselves.

In this guide we have found some fun ways for kids to play on their own and develop their imaginations!


Gift Guide: Kids

by clicking the picture below!

Gift Guide: Kids

Have anyone else on your list? Click here for all our gift and style guides!

Christmas Village Makeover

I was at Dollar Tree a few weeks ago and saw some cool ceramic village pieces…and by cool I mean they were painted like garbage but had great shapes. At $1 each I picked a couple up and badaboombadabing gave them a rad christmas village makeover…

christmas village makeover :

Now they are awesome and magical and I’m pretty happy that I spent less than $10 for the entire project (:

Christmas Village Makeover

First, I sprayed them all down with a quick and dirty coat of white spray paint. I set some aside then finished spraying the rest white with several light coats until there wasn’t any paint showing through.

christmas village makeover :

I sprayed the rest metallic gold, because I love it, even though it’s trendy. So, race to your local Dollar Tree and snatch up all the buildings! They would be awesome painted any color!!

christmas village makeover :

You might also like my DIY modern advent calendar (not as $$ friendly but still pretty gnarly)

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid