2016 GIFT IDEAS

I decided this was the year I would do all my Christmas shopping in November so that I could enjoy December and all the hustle bustle that it brings without having to worry about ticking all the boxes off of our list of names. Well, I covered my parents and I bought two nerf guns, one for Curran and one for Hugh and I hope to end up with a third before Christmas day because I want to play too.

So clearly I'll be pouring over gift guides myself this year as the days count down and I have some tough people to buy for. If you're in any similar situation, I hope you find something here that may strike the fancy of one of your people. This list is a mish mash of items that Hugh and I think are beautiful, interesting, or useful. Hugh's are marked with an (H). A handful of these are Amazon affiliate links but all are products that we've purchased and recommend due to experience.


Sarah Kersten Ceramics - Large Nesting Bowl

I ordered this bowl because I love the natural color and texture but it's proven to be so helpful to store leftovers or bring a dish to someone's house with the handy lid. Serving, storage, pretty, handmade. I just love it. I have the Large and find it the perfect size for our everyday needs. 


Birkenstock Women's Boston Shearling Slip On Clogs

I don't actually have these but I want them. I haven't stopped thinking of them since I found them so they ended up here. I mean, they are basically a glorified slipper! I can't find my size in the color I like but if I could, these would totally be my winter 2016/17 shoe, much to my sister's chagrin. If you too believe that slippers should be left indoors, these look squishy. 


Wooden Magnetic Kid's Game

We don't have a ton of toys but I am on the hunt for things that may keep at least one child entertained for more than 2 minutes. I'm already seeing the age gap close between my kids as Cleo is nearly one so this may even work for both of them. Also helpful for it to not make noise and that all the parts fit back into itself! Sold. 


JayBird BlueBuds X Bluetooth Headphones - (H)

I literally use these all the time. I'm serious. That's not hyperbole. Ok, maybe it's hyperbole, but I have gotten a TON of usage out of these over the last year or so of owning them. I've been deep into audio books for a few years now and podcasts more recently, so I ingest a lot of information through my ear holes and the fact that these allow me to do so without a tripping, snagging, tangling hazard dangling off my head all the time is a surprisingly enjoyable benefit. If you haven't gone bluetooth with your headphones yet, I high recommend trying it, and I've found that these offer great battery life, durability, and staying power when moving around. 


Donations to International Justice Mission and International Rescue Committee

I know making donations in peoples' name is for a specific receiver on your list. One of my goals for 2017 is to be more involved in awareness, activism, and raising money for organizations working towards ending human trafficking.

IJM has a very easy to follow site to learn more about what is going on with that crisis (among others) and what they are doing about it.

The IRC has many hands helping with the refugee crisis among other things.

It's a season of a lot of stuff but also one of generosity and taking care of each other, even those outside our small circles. I'm going to make a donation and put a ticket in my kids' stockings even though it will only barely make any sense to my oldest but it's never too young to try.


Le Creuset Dutch Oven

I use this pot every day. Well, most days. I think they are so well made and beautiful sitting on the stove and clean up well and will last forever. I cook pasta and soup and caramelize onions and braise things in the oven and I just love it. I don't say that about a ton of kitchen equipment, poor things really have to work for my praise around here, but I would wish this pot for every one of you. 


Yeti Colster - (H)

Another product I use a ton. Not that I have a hard time downing my LaCroixs before they get warm, but when I do find myself in the rare sipping mood, this little guy keeps a can of whatever your wish frosty for surprisingly long. Since we picked up a soda stream, and I've been drinking sparkling water like a mad man, I've ditched the little black gasket and just gone straight sparklies and lime over ice, straight into the stainless chamber, so it's like a 2-for-1 sort of thing, as opposed to one of their tumblers (which is also on my wish list at the moment). 

I warned you this was going to be more of a function over form list from me this year. Wait 'til you see the next item...


Thera Cane Massager - (H)

Ok, just hear me out. This thing is amazing. Not only is it a conversation starter when you whip it out in front of company but it allows you to hit those nagging, hard to reach or hard to hit spots in your back, neck, legs, etc. People will laugh and then they'll want to get their hands on it. Guaranteed hit around the tree on Christmas morning for the over 30 crowd. 

If this is the sort of thing that strikes your fancy, get yourself a lacrosse ball while you're at it, and if you really want to take it to the next level: The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook


Wildfox Baggy Beach Jumper Sweatshirt

I'm generally not a shopper and my life with young kids necessitates clothes that I can move around in easily. My grandma has instilled in me a love of soft things from an early age and this Wildfox sweatshirt is my uniform along with these jeans. I can wear this out to run errands but it feels like pajamas.

Oi, I've suggested slippers and sweatshirts. Maybe don't take fashion advice from me, BUT if you want soft and comfy, I'm you're girl. I linked to this sandy colored one but they have lots of solids and zip ups too if you poke around. If you have more reasons to wear dresses than I do, this is a recent favorite from my sister's beautiful line.


It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden - (H)

This is a gem of a little book. Aesthetically pleasing. Creatively challenging. The sort of book you tear pages out of to tack onto the wall above your desk.

It's written from the perspective of an advertiser, but I found it directly applicable to photography, and I'd wager it would have any creative in any field dog-earing pages and scribbling little nuggets of insight on scratch paper. 

If this sounds up the right alley, take a look at:
The War of Art
Manage Your Day to Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind


Noble Tonic 01 Maple Syrup

I'm pretty tied to eggs first thing in the morning but Hugh prefers lots of waffles, both fresh and frozen. We only use this fancy maple for the fresh ones and even then, very sparingly because it just feels special. According to Hugh, Tonic 01 is as much a step up from the run of the mill Grade B maple, as that Grade B is from Log Cabin. 


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