Links + Loves


Shay Cochrane_Kate Small Things_Hair Blog_Styled Photography5

image styled and shot by Shay Cochrane for The Small Things Blog

Happy Friday! It’s been a slow and unproductive week, but I think I probably needed the rest.

I’ve been busy with Nicole, my awesome assistant, organizing the Hair Classes for the rest of the year! I’ve been so encouraged by the feedback from attendees and love hearing ideas you have for hair classes as well! We are planning a braids class soon, but is there any other specific style you’d like to see in a live class format? Let me know in the comments!

In other news, Creative at Heart is this weekend and I’m looking forward to going to another conference. I really tend to enjoy those types of things (except the last one I was at), and I’ve already made some fun connections with other people going that I’m excited to follow up on! Are you a conference go-er? Do you like those things?

Remember last week when I downloaded the Water Keeper app to keep track of my water? Yeah I’m failing miserably still. Why is that so hard?

This looks cozy!

I love this mirror gallery wall idea!

I usually love white everything but these black trimmed windows are stunning!

My family is beginning to ask for gift ideas for the boys since Christmas is coming so quickly and I’m struggling with what to tell them! Both boys have plenty of clothes and toys. So what do you suggest to your family who wants to give a gift to your young kids? My parents are getting David a wagon for his birthday, and some books for Christmas, but they are having a hard time with a 1 year old (Luke)! Is there something special or unique I’m just not thinking of? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


Chinchar-Maloney kindly made me the most beautiful ring and I received it last week! It was about a year ago that they first reached out to create something for me and I loved their unique birthstone rings. I can tell you, after a year of experience, the quality and customer service are top notch.


They make fine jewelry, so the prices are much different than what you may find someplace other than a jewelry store, but that is to be expected for the custom work and the diamonds they use in their jewelry. The birthstone rings would be a really easy and treasured gift for someone you love and those come in at a lower price than their fancier and larger diamond rings.

Anyway, they are running a promo for 10% off birthstone and initial items right now with code PRESENT10!

Okay, I’m off to Charleston early tomorrow morning for a weekend of hair classes + the conference! Planning to download an audio book tonight so I have something to listen to for the long drive! What do you have going on this weekend?

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Comments (97)

  1. Stacy Henry says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Gift idea for your babies, my in-laws did it for my 2 babies for their 1st Christmas (both were December babies ?). They gave them a saving’s bond. When my oldest graduated HS, he cashed it in and it helped with college expenses.

    • Donna says
      Posted November 13, 2015

      My parents have also done this for my children and it is a great gift. Starting with their first birthday and Christmas gifts, they receive a savings bond as part of their gift. They began to look for the “college money” as much as the rest of the present. This year my daughter has paid for her college books with a couple of the bonds. It was fun for her to look at the dates they were originally purchased in 1997 and to still have this gift some 18 years later that is really useful to her now.

    • Catherine W. says
      Posted November 13, 2015

      I’ll agree with this! I’m an auntie to 5 nieces. Every holiday/birthday my husband and I put a little $$ into each child’s 529 college fund. While that’s not a savings bond, it will help them in the future for college.

    • Posted November 14, 2015

      Not to be a Debbie Downer here, but savings bonds aren’t as great as many well-meaning relatives think. My husband had 36, half of which still aren’t matured yet (he’s 26 years old), and in order to cash them he has to sign and fill out personal info on every single one in front of a bank clerk. It’s a total pain, and their rate of return is horrible. We’re asking people to give cash for an educational savings we’ve set up for our daughter. One set of grandparents also set up their own high-interest account for her in case she chooses not to go to college.

      • k's mommy says
        Posted November 17, 2015

        i have a good bit of knowledge on savings bonds. not worth the hassel and many bank employees will tell you the same… they take a minimum of 30 years to mature decently… maybe chevk cd rates for a college fund!!

  2. Katarina says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    What about gift certificates to the zoo or an indoor playground you love to visit? A necessity in the winter here!

    • Michelle says
      Posted November 13, 2015

      My mom does this. To the zoo. To the children’s museum. To the pool when the kids are older.

    • Becca says
      Posted November 14, 2015

      I think tickets/gift certificates for experiences like this would be great! It’d be something to look forward to and get you all out of the house, which I’m sure would be a nice break in the winter. I don’t have kids, but anytime I’m stumped trying to come up with what to get someone, I go for an experience.

  3. Megan says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    I always ask for outdoor toys for my boys because they love being outside and it looks like your boys do too! Perhaps a bubble machine or toy he can scoot around the yard in?

  4. Dana says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    I’ve asked my family to buy “experiences” for my son. They’ve paid for Little Gym classes and a membership to our Children’s Museum (when we lived in Charleston, now I’m looking at Discovery Place Kids in Charlotte after our recent move here). I’m sure they have lots of those things in Raleigh! Your kids are also young for this, but a Highlights or Disney Jr. Magazine subscription are good ideas too!

    • Megan says
      Posted November 13, 2015

      Same! We are all about experiences with our young kids (who already have enough clothes and toys), so lots of requests like swimming lessons, toddler gymnastic or music class, indoor playgrounds, discovery parks, ect.

      Its a great idea!

  5. Stephanie says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Hi Kate!

    Great post! I don’t know, if your Luke walked yet, but my son enjoyed a walker at that age. It’s a motorcycle from playskool. When he gets older he can also ride on it. My son also had a walker from Chico. Hope this helps you a little.

    Have a great day!


  6. Posted November 13, 2015

    I second the membership to a zoo or museum for gifts for littles. We always ask for books, too, and my mom in particular is my go-to for gifting the arts in the form of audiobooks or music (I’ve asked for Holst’s The Planets this year because I know the boys would LOVE it). But when the kids are really little, I ask for family members stumped by gifts to just write them a letter to put in their keepsake box. That doesn’t cost anything but it’s so rich in meaning!

  7. Keara says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Hi Kate!
    I always love reading your Links and Loves posts!
    Anyways as for gift ideas for you boys- I agree with the zoo or indoor playground membership or gift card. Or also, I’m a babysitter and I noticed a big gift is a kitchen set, I babysit a lot of boys and they all seem to love it around that age! Also, my moms first Christmas/ birthday gifts to family members was always a beanbag chair or a chair from LL Bean or Lands End( can’t remember which!) with their name on! A gift they can have forever!
    Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

  8. Melissa G says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    4 of my 5 kids were born within 27 months of each other, and 3 birthdays within 5 days of each other’s. Everything was passed down and passed around. They needed nothing ever come holiday/ birthday time. We did big ticket items, like one year got 2 really nice double strollers…a wagon…zoo membership…overnight trip to an indoor waterpark ( we lived in WI, so that was nice during the winter months)…Build a Bear gift cards to go build their own ( that was a ton of fun, even with 4 small kids! And they had money left to go a second time!!). Those are just a few ideas.

    It was fun when they started to develop their own likes and could come up with ideas!

    • Melissa G says
      Posted November 13, 2015

      And you are right…that tee does look comfy. I am not a fan of the back being longer than the griping, however. It’s not flattering for me.

      • Melissa G says
        Posted November 13, 2015

        Front…not griping. What kind of autocorrect is that!!

    • Angie says
      Posted November 13, 2015

      The waterpark idea is awesome. It’s such a fun experience. My son just turned 2, and we are getting him a play kitchen with play food for Christmas. Another cool thing I saw was on Amazon, called Crazy Forts. It’s like a kit you build and then you take a bed sheet and put it over the top. I think that’d be so much fun! My son got a play work bench and a tool box for his birthday. It came with a working drill that lights up an everything. He carries the drill around the house “fixing” everything. I also think that art supplies could be a good idea, like crayons, markers, paints (all washable, of course), construction paper, stickers, etc.

      One thing we asked for, for our son was bed sheets and a comforter set, since soon he will be moving to a big bed.

      Good luck!

  9. Paige says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    I third the membership idea. I live in Atlanta and there are so many options for kids… The zoo, aquarium, puppetry arts center, and the children’s museum. All are gifts that keep on giving. I also love water tables. You can fill them with water in the summer or rice/sand in the winter and little boys especially love playing in them year round.

  10. Stel says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Love the black trim! Did it in my previous kitchen. And now I have a black painted cottage pane door (frosted glass!!) to my guest loo. Had a solid black door to the previous guest loo, looks brilliant.

  11. Ramona says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Love the water/sand table idea! How about a gift card for a memory photo book? Or a gift card towards a photo session with your favorite photographer. Perhaps a monetary donation in your little one’s names to a children’s charitable organization. I also like the idea of “Simple Gift Giving” Something they want, Something they need, Something to wear, Something to read.

    • Rachele says
      Posted November 16, 2015

      LOVE that simple gift giving formula! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Posted November 13, 2015

    My sister is in MN visiting me from Durham. We both follow your blog and love our sister weekends. I just told her that I want to go to one of your hair clinics and will fly out to see her on a dime! How about quick up dos on second day hair?

  13. Posted November 13, 2015

    I love the mirror gallery idea! I just need to find the right place in my house…and the right mirrors!

  14. Claire says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    These are all great suggestions for gifts for little ones. A kitchen and the resulting food is always fun to play with. I agree on experiences like museum memberships and classes. My parents usually include a gift towards the college savings account too.

  15. Amy says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Lots of great ideas posted already (I’m taking notes for my 1 year old). Anothery idea is a recordable book. I’ve seen them at Hallmark and Kohls. My parents bought and recorded one for my little guy and he loves to hear their voices read to him, especially since they live a few hours away.

  16. Alli says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    As a momma to three little kiddos (4,2, and 8 months) I love it when the get consumable stuff like playdoh, markers, crayons, bubbles, chalk, etc. We go through those things quickly around here. But, the two gifts I’m giving all my nieces and nephews this year that are David and Luke’s ages are Duplo Lego Sets (they are so so cute and my almost 5 year old still likes to play with them) and making photo books with their own pictures. All of our littles love looking at pictures of themselves and family. Walgreens has a version with very sturdy pages that should hold up nicely to lots of love ?

  17. evelyn k says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    We like college money :), but we have also started collecting the BabyLit books, so we asked for those for Christmas for our 9 month old!

    • Amy M. says
      Posted November 14, 2015

      Our family gives money for our boys 529 plans as well! Both boys have everything they need and a lot that they want, so planning for their future is truly a gift for our family!

  18. Elizabeth says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    For gifts, I also go for the memberships when I can, and my in-laws give to a 529 college saving plan instead of doing savings bonds. Since they likely want to give something to delight the boys in the moment, some ideas are: get a big box for dress-up clothes (boys enjoy too – think cowboy hats, fire fighter hat and jacket, cape with toy bow and arrow, shop discounts after Halloween). Things that get used up are good: a favorite edible treat, art materials, bubbles, chalk. A tradition can be fun: pajamas and a book every year, or a tree ornament reflecting what they love each year.

    For hair, I would love to see styling ideas for short hair. How about Bobby pins 101 and teasing 102?

  19. Posted November 13, 2015

    For my sons 1st Christmas I was in the same spot as you. He had plenty of clothes and we didn’t neeeed any more toys! Especially loud ones haha so my parents got him a book that recorded their voices reading. I’m not sure if they still do (since my little guy is almost 4 now) but Hallmark use to sell them. I think it is such a special and meaningful gift! Just an idea 😉 Glad you are feeling better! Luke is getting so big! And David is getting such a personality!
    Blessings to your family!

  20. Katherine says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Great ideas for children’s gifts here…I can’t think of anything else to add.
    On the subject of hair…I would love to see a demo on getting a nice smooth and straight blowout. I have wavy hair so most often I curl it since that’s what my hair wants to do naturally. However, I struggle with getting my hair to look smooth and polished when going for that look. Always seems to end up frizzy.

    • Katherine says
      Posted November 13, 2015

      …or it ends up looking flat, which is no good either!

  21. Katie says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    My girls have gotten hours of fun out of this bounce house! I even blow it up in the basement during the winter months!

  22. Inês Serôdio says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    so cute and personal!


  23. Amanda says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Do you know those Little Tikes yellow and red ride in cars that we all probably had as kids? Well my twin got one for my son on his first birthday. They are better now because they have a plate in the bottom so his feet won’t hang down. I would let my 2yo ride on the back and push my 2nd one on walks and they loved it.

  24. Posted November 13, 2015

    Isn’t it great when family asks for gift ideas for your kids?? I love sending them links – it makes shopping so easy! What about bath toys? a sled for a one year old that has a strap & seat so they are supported while they get pulled through the snow? board books? train set? a little push car to push and then later ride? cups/plates/cool place mats? wooden puzzles with knob handles so that little hands can grab them? a rocking horse? or an experience gift – zoo pass, museum pass, enroll in a music class? Hope that helps!! Your boys are the cutest so I’m sure your family is eager to spoil them 🙂

  25. Beth says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    I hand short hair and would love to see videos of shorter styles and cuts.

    • Beth says
      Posted November 13, 2015


  26. Kelly k says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    We asked for season passes to zoo or children’s museum or Gymboree classes and such 🙂

  27. Posted November 13, 2015

    My mother-in-law got my son a wooden walking toy for his first birthday in February and he still plays with it now. Something like this:

    Bonus that it doesn’t require batteries and there’s no music.

  28. Lauren says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Hey–not an idea for a class, but a post or maybe a video–how to clean styling tools?? Mine get so gunked up–I would love to know the best way to clean them all!

  29. Maricha says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    First of all, I love reading your blog!

    I also have an one year old. What do you think about this for a present? and then search for Wheelybug!!

    • Erika says
      Posted November 14, 2015

      My boy is 2,5 (born in June -13) and for his first birthday we got him a sandbox and he loves playing in it year round (we live in northern California). He also got Mega Bloks and two walkers from friends and family. The Melissa & Doug crocodile walker was good at that age. Books are always popular and for Christmas last year he got the play kitchen plus food from IKEA. A water table was a big hit at two as well as a toy mowerand Duplos. For this years Christmas we’re getting him a Little Tikes ride on firetruck, a doll and more duplos. He loves trucks anything. My parents are getting him trains and train tracks.

  30. Laura says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    This is a super practical/boring answer, but if you set up a 529 Plan for the boys’ colleges, anyone can contribute money toward it. I am thinking about setting one up for my 22 month old so it has been on my mind a lot. 🙂

  31. Emilee Johnson says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Last year my parents gifted my 2 year old with “Something to wear, something to read, something he wants, something he needs!’ He got new pajamas, a leapfrog book, a little puzzle/card game, and a new toothbrush! I thought it was a great idea 🙂 I have also received magazine subscriptions for my kiddos… ZooBooks is fun! And they enjoy getting their own mail! Other great non-you ideas: Zoo pass or museum memberships, savings accounts/bonds, their favorite snacks, or a family friendly movie for the whole family! ?❄️??

  32. Amanda says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    We always put books on our wish list for the kids Christmas – that’s one thing you can never have too many of! Also, one year I suggested duplos to my mom. She found a huge set on ebay from a pre-school. It was a lot more than I had been expecting! We store them in 3 big boxes under the boys beds. The kids can only get them out on rainy days, if the other toys are picked up. This has made it something special for them. On a rainy day, they’ll have them out playing with them ALL day! There’s enough to make it fun to play when they’re cousins come over too. My kids are 1, 3, and 5 but even their cousins who are 6 and 8 enjoy it too. Now someone usually gives the kids another set for Christmas each year – a tractor, train, etc.

  33. Amanda says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Last year we gave the kids each a box of dress up/role play clothes. I found most of them in the fall in Halloween stuff. We did princess things for our girl, and cowboy, fireman, policeman, and knight( with swords) for our boys. It’s been fun to see them play with it almost every day since!

  34. Lindsay says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    One of the best gifts my MIL gives my son each year is a membership to the local zoo. Much better than a tangible gift and when I’m off in the summers, we do picnics, visit the splashpad, see the animals – all for free. (It’s the one in Asheboro so it’s a little far from you, but worth the ride!)

  35. Brianna says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    I have three boys and balls as presents are always a great choice!

  36. Cecily says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    If the app you’re using to drink water still isn’t helping, can I suggest another? I’ve been a chronically dehydrated non-app compliant gal myself, but an app called Plant Nanny seriously works. The idea is ridiculous (you keep a plant alive by watering it), but it alerts you every two hours to water your plant. Plus, your plant looks sad and dies if you don’t hit your goal for several days. The silly virtual plant worked for me, and I thought maybe it could help you out too. 🙂

  37. Kristen says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Hi Kate! I know you’ve done some events at the Birchbox store in SoHo before and if you could somehow figure out a way to get back to NY to do one of your classes I will be the FIRST in line : )

  38. Patti says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    I’d love a class on building volume and styling fine, thin hair. Everything I read about fine hair is based on “well you have lots of it”. Um…no. Why do people think that?

    For gifts…how about tuition for a Kindermusic class?

  39. Posted November 13, 2015

    Yah, that black trim is so sharp, isn’t it?! I think it echoes the large tall black steel windows and french doors (?) I’m seeing lately. I’m heart’n it all a lot ♡

  40. Sarah Sobek. says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Such great ideas for gifts!
    On the water front, the only time I was ever hydrated was with an infant. My mom told me to drink a glass of water every time the baby ate and it worked! Plus a glass of water before the first cup of coffee is super motivating for me ha!

  41. Jodie says
    Posted November 13, 2015


  42. Beth says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    My parents gave each of my kids a little stool that has their name spelled in puzzle pieces on the top. Look for “name puzzle stool” on Etsy for some great options. They also did season passes to zoo, science museum, etc…

  43. Holly says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Kate, I saw on Periscope a couple of weeks ago that you have been trying out Tarte’s new Light of the Party eye shadow kit. How do you like it? And are you considering doing a review of it and/or tutorial using it?

    Hope you are feeling better!

  44. Posted November 13, 2015

    What a beautiful ring! I love it!

    Mary Kate

  45. Bonnie says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Yes, try to dissuade the grandparents and aunts and uncles from the “gift thing” now while it’s doable. Love the college fund idea. Or try to start a tradition of helping others…either an Angel Tree thing or everybody contributes $$ and part of our celebration is deciding which organization (or cause) to give it to this year. As token gifts, books are great. All our kids have too much, and Christmas just seems to feed the monster. When you hop off the train, it’s AMAZING how much more peaceful Christmas becomes. And it’s so much easier to drink in the Reason for the season.

  46. kayla says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    I love these types of post!! They seem so effortless, I’m thinking about incorporating them into my blog maybe on the weekends or something 🙂 Water is nearly impossible for me to keep up on although I plan to everyday..

    xoxo kayla

  47. Kirsten says
    Posted November 13, 2015

    Will you do more classes in Chicago? I’d love to come but sadly am out of town that weekend!

  48. Brittany Krauze says
    Posted November 14, 2015

    Gift ideas… I know you said they have enough toys but if they don’t have Magna tiles I would suggest those. They are pricey but totally worth it. I bought them for Jackson when he was 6 months old and they are a toy he pretty much has played with everyday. A museum pass is also a great gift idea, or even finger paints. Good luck and I love reading your blog.

  49. Chelsea says
    Posted November 14, 2015

    I hope you are feeling better! That ring is gorgeous.

  50. Ellen says
    Posted November 14, 2015

    My grandparents put money into a fund for my sister and I every year since our birth. When we were 18 we were allowed access to it and took the opportunity to take a trip to see our grandparents (they live in Europe) and have a little vacation. Maybe a fund for later schooling would be good? Or just a savings account? Then something small for Christmas 🙂

  51. Posted November 14, 2015

    My family and I are leaving on thanksgiving morning to be missionaries in the Philippines for five years. So last year we asked for “experiences” for our kids rather than “things” we wouldn’t be able to take with us. My mom got us a family zoo membership and it has been AWESOME! It’s like the gift that keeps on giving!

  52. Posted November 14, 2015

    Any chance you will ever come up to New England to do hair classes? I know there are tons of us up here who would love a chance to participate!

  53. Jen S. says
    Posted November 14, 2015

    I worked at an innovative preschool before I began teaching in NC, and the most popular toy for the kids were Magna-Tiles. They’re for 3 and up, but the parts aren’t very small. Expensive, but they really kept the kids busy, and they were so imaginative with them!

    If you’re looking for a neat tradition, my husband’s grandparents started an annual ornament exchange. All of their grandchildren ended up with enough ornaments for when they grew up.

  54. Shareen says
    Posted November 14, 2015

    Hi Kate! We got our kids personalized books one year, and they LOVED them! If you google “personalized kids books” you will find lots. And you get to add your kids names, a few friends names, stuff like that, and it’s so much fun!! Also, love the idea of giving kids experiences. We are all about making memories, so I love that!

  55. Shannon says
    Posted November 14, 2015

    How about you have each family member start a library for your boys starting with their favorite book. Maybe you could do themes like Dr.Seuss this year.

  56. Lisa says
    Posted November 14, 2015

    Hi Kate! Would it be possible for you to do a day-to-night tutorial with the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 palette? I love the one you did with the Tarte Showstopper palette. I bought the palette and watch it every morning while I do my makeup! Thanks! Love ya???

    • Kari says
      Posted November 15, 2015

      Love this idea!

  57. Kari says
    Posted November 15, 2015

    A short hair styling class would be awesome! I have short hair and I just blowdry it straight everyday because I don’t know what else to do with it. Also, a class in Charlotte would be awesome or weekend classes in Raleigh.

    • Christina says
      Posted November 15, 2015

      Agreed. I’d love styling ideas for short hair.

  58. Posted November 15, 2015

    I am truly thankful to the owner of this website who has shared this fantastic post at here.

  59. Christina says
    Posted November 15, 2015

    Gift idea: family membership to places like zoos, children’s museums, aquariums, etc. we really like experience gifts.

  60. liza says
    Posted November 15, 2015

    Memberships are always great for the whole family. In Minneapolis we have so many places for SAHM’s to take their kids to give them variety. I would recommend memberships if you are struggling with ‘things’. They can then also get a toy or something like that so they have a gift to open.

  61. Amber says
    Posted November 15, 2015

    Not sure if they will be into fishing or hunting but in Tennessee if you buy their lifetime hunting and fishing license before they are 3 years old it is way cheaper. And they will never have to buy one to hunt or fish in the state. That may be something to think about.

    Love the blog!

  62. Jessica says
    Posted November 15, 2015

    Not sure if this is any help, but we are following (loosely because it’s our 1st year giving it a try) a 4 gift guide. Something they Want, Need, Wear, and Read.

    • Kelty says
      Posted November 16, 2015

      I have been using this for the last 2 Christmases (pretty loosely as well) and I find it super helpful to keep me organized and focused and sane! I really love it. You can get really creative with the categories but it just keeps things from getting out of control.

  63. shea says
    Posted November 15, 2015

    im a nanny, and this year i plan on getting the kids i babysit a subscription to bookroo! which is a subscription that sends new books each month for the kids. you can get 1-6 month subscriptions

  64. Kacie M says
    Posted November 16, 2015

    We have 4 nephews under the age of 7, and I’ve known all of them to be at the age of 1 or 2 except for the 2 oldest. But, we usually just get the boys clothes. Even when our youngest nephew turned 1, clothes were easier to buy than anything else. Now, he’s into more things (trucks, stickers, Jake, puzzles, books, etc) that he’s easier to shop for (as well as the other boys). Even this year with all of the boys being into so many different things, we may opt for clothes over other stuff – although the youngest is a puzzle wiz so he may get a couple of those!

  65. Jessi E says
    Posted November 16, 2015

    We are asking our family for experiences for our daughter. The zoo, the children’s science museum, Gymboree classes, etc. We are hoping to help her become less materialistic than we are, and I am telling myself focusing on “adventures” instead of things help. And yes, I do say, “Want to go have an adventure at the zoo?!”

    If they just really want to get her something, we have suggested coloring books, stickers, and what I call “thinking games”-puzzles, lacing cards, and the like.

    If they don’t like that and I get the impression they just have cash burning a hole in their pockets, I finally suggest a contribution to her college fund.

  66. Katie says
    Posted November 16, 2015

    For years my in laws did a “book of the month” club for my son for Christmas. They gave us 12 books that were individually wrapped for each month. My son loved opening a new book every month and I loved that it helped build up our library!

  67. Sarah says
    Posted November 16, 2015

    Lots of great, great, great ideas have been mentioned. We also love these big play forms: Expensive but so worth it! Especially for cold and/or rainy days.

  68. Kelty says
    Posted November 16, 2015

    Okay, so this may sound a little bit selfish, but I used those early Christmases/Birthdays to score some things that were less fun but that I knew would stick around and be useful. For example, around 1 or 2 yrs old, I requested a rolling duffle bag for each kid (see link below.) We have gotten each a different color and had them monogramed and it’s been super helpful now that they are older to each have a nice traveling bag.

    • Kelty says
      Posted November 16, 2015

      Also, one of the grandparents gives us a Marbles Membership each year and that thing is worth its weight in gold, especially during nasty weather and the super hot summer months.

  69. Kimberly says
    Posted November 16, 2015

    I’ve got 5 kids (new, 2, 4, 6, & 8) and here are my favorite toys:

    LEGO duplos & Classic Creator Box (ALL of my kids love these)
    Train set
    KEVA planks
    Grimm’s Magnet Puzzles
    Bristle/Thistle blocks
    Schleich dinosaurs (I’m buying these for stockings)

    Here’s what I’m thinking for this year:

    I know your guys are little, but these are the toys that I’m happy to have for years on end, and they can grow into them.

    My favorite picture books? Hmmmm….
    Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
    James Herriot’s Treasury for Children
    Brambly Hedge books by Jill Barklem
    Big Picture Story Bible with cd by David Helm
    Entire set of See Inside books by Usborne
    Stick by Steve Breen

    Okay, I could go on and on 🙂

    Also, a good pair of boots so David’s allowed to get muddy

    • Kimberly says
      Posted November 16, 2015

      And memberships are a gift to YOU…what 2 year old wants to open an envelope?

  70. Lara says
    Posted November 16, 2015

    Do your boys have a play kitchen? Hours of imaginative fun! My kids (6 y/o daughter, 3 y/o son) have loved ours for years! My son is currently obsessed with making everyone “qubert” some made up food, and feeding his stuffed puppy!

  71. hannah says
    Posted November 16, 2015

    i didn’t take the time to read through the rest of the comments, BUT! maybe you could ask for a zoo pass or museum pass if there’s one near you that y’all enjoy going to! it’ll be a great gift for all, and it’s not a toy. Also, a water/sand table is a huge hit at our house. and there’s kinetic sand too that i have on a list for my littles.

  72. Kira says
    Posted November 16, 2015

    What always helps me drink more water is to time it out. I will drink one full Camelback before breakfast, one before lunch, one before dinner and one before bed. Sometimes I end up chugging it to get enough in, but I definitely feel better when I drink enough water. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  73. Becca says
    Posted November 18, 2015

    I would highly recommend Pottery Barn Kids’ AnywhereChairs for your boys. I saw them on a gift guide a year or so ago on another blog and it has been a HUGE favorite for my almost two year old for as long as we’ve had it. Also any play date friends seem to flock to it as well!! Definitely worth every penny. I would suggest a lighter color to cut down on laundry – I have the lavender, a friend has navy and she said every spills shows, mine doesn’t. 🙂

  74. Angela says
    Posted November 21, 2015

    A Highlights subscription is a great gift! Every couple of months my 2 year old gets a new book/magazine in the mail. There are different levels depending on your child’s age. He loves them!

  75. Rachel says
    Posted November 30, 2015

    This may have been said already but I recently heard someone give the gift idea of “experiences”. So children’s museums, zoo visits, music class, swim lessons, etc… I’d never heard that before and thought it was awesome!!!

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