November 2018 | Olive and Tate

Grandparent Gift Guide

What do you give the people who usually don't need a thing, claim to not want a thing and tend to love your children more than anything on Earth?! Honestly, gifting grandparents can be tricky - we always want to find something special and personal to show them just how much they mean to us and it can take me weeks of researching to come up with something new and fresh. This year, I think I've found some really unique gifts, perfect for Grandparents, covering a span of price points and styles. Be sure to read through to post because many items have his and her options and ideas on how to personalize that really take the gift to the next level! 

Grandparent Gift Guide
If you love this gift guide and plan to shop the post, please consider checking out in a web browser and not in an Instagram window or via an app. I do receive a small commission on purchases made via my links and unfortunately do not get credit for any sales made in an app (including the Amazon app on mobile) or via Instagram browser window. If a link from Olive and Tate is the last link you click before checking out, I will receive credit for your sale. Thank you so much for your continued support! 

 Ok, so there's an item numbered 0 on this list because I forgot to include it and, because I think it's such a good idea, I couldn't let it go. When my parents were visiting recently, they fell in love with our Alexa and wanted one for themselves - I suggested they actually get an Amazon Echo Spot so that they could video call the kids without needing my phone or laptop. We're also going to upgrade to a Spot and will pop in on the kitchen counter so the kids can call their grandparents whenever they want - and I won't have to continually wipe baby boogers and such from my phone screen. Rumor has it (and my rumor, I mean the Amazon home page) that there will be a Black Friday deal for a pair of Spot's priced to move so I'll keep you updated via Insta stories if that goes down!

First of all, I kinda can't believe that this custom family genealogy doesn't cost more than it does because I cannot imagine the work that goes into making this beauty. Your family tree will be hand burned into a wood slice harvested from a sustainable forest and are available in both mini and regular sizes. There are also two styles of family tree layout to choose from and both are truly gorgeous - the detail in each one is truly amazing. P.S. There is also a Christmas ornament version!

Ever heard of a Grandma's Brag Book? It's a little photo album that a grandmother carries around with her so that she's ready for every opportunity to whip out pics of her grand-babies to brag about them. Consider this monogrammed metal pocket frame to be the sleeker version of a brag book, with room for two photos and available in a ton of finishes, it is perfect for a purse or console of Grandpa's car.

We gave my parents something similar for Gray's first Christmas and it was a hit - we used a scanner app on our phone to turn those tiny newborn footprints into an amazing keepsake they could hang in their home. This particular version can be customized a million different ways to include all of baby's vital stats, name and even a color scheme to match Grandma's decor.

Ok, so this is a bit of a cliche grandparent gift but I had to include it because this version of a yearly wall calendar not only lets your customize photos, fonts and style but it also allows you to add up to 10 special dates on the calendar for free. Think how sweet it would be to add in special birthdays, events at school (like Grandparent's Day!) or special trips you have planned together.

I love the idea of a custom door mat made just for grandparents that says "Welcome to Grandma's House!" or "My Grandma and Granddad Live Here!" - ask your kiddo for suggestions and I bet you'll come up with an adorable gift.

One of my fave grandparent finds this year, I love this travel mug that is engraved with a child's art or handwriting as well as a message. The wood exterior is bamboo and the interior of the travel cup is stainless steel, making it perfect for that morning commute or road trip to see the grandbabies.

I chose this custom waterway serving tray with my family in mind, as we grew up on the water. This tray (also available in a print) is a topological map of a body of water or estuary of your choice laser cut onto a wood serving tray. The art itself is covered in glass making the tray useful and gorgeous. The site will walk you through finding your chosen body of water (or island) and the maps are truly something special.

For the sentimental Grandma who loves quirky art, this little print has it covered. It also comes in a mug option and would be perfect framed and hung next to a special photo of Grandma and her littles.

Perfect for stashing those glasses, books, remotes and laptops, this little pocket hangs on a bed frame to keep all of the essentials near. Honestly, I think I'm adding this to my own wish list!

I love the less than traditional style of this custom family tree print - each person can be customized to match their personality, style or personality - seriously zoom in on some of the previously created family artwork and you'll be sure you're about to hit the gifting out of the park.

Another perfect spot for those pre-school masterpieces, this leather catch all tray is perfect for any grandparent, but I love the masculine edge specifically for Grandpa. If your babe is too little for artwork, there's an option to add a teeny tiny footprint here.

I think I include an homage to homes in every single gift guide that I create, so it's no surprise that I've added this black and white custom house art print to the Grandparent round up. I think our homes represent so many memories and the homes we grew up - or raised our babies in - are worth memorializing. This piece can range in size from 7"x5" to 20"x16" and can be framed in house to save you major time!

This blanket has a funky style with deep meaning - each block of the blanket design is customized to match the person. Add a name then birth year, hobbies, interests, important milestones and build out the rest of the family tree from there.

I'm all about the custom art when it comes to the grandparents (what else should we be doing with all of those pre-school creations!?) and this cufflink set might be the most unique use yet - each silver envelope cufflink holds a tiny wooden square that can be etched with artwork, handwriting or a message. The silver envelopes open and close, letting you access the special pieces inside whenever you need a reminder of those sweet grandbabies.

And if Grandpas gets special cufflinks, then Grandma gets a special necklace! Each of these gold necklaces is created from baby art, Grandma can match Grandpa or have her very own drawing to wear around her neck.

Does Grandpa have a special recipe or is there a traditional recipe that means something special to your family? Each of these cherry wood cutting boards has your recipe etched with the chef's handwriting.

I love this little book (and so does Oprah!). Each set includes 12 letter writing prompts to encourage Grandparents to document some of their best memories, lessons and wisdom - which are then sealed and postdated for the future. It's essentially a Grandparent written time capsule, a perfect gift for everyone involved.

Fill this box with three bottles of wine of important vintage to the grandparents - maybe the years of their grandchildren's birth or the year they were married and then two significant wedding anniversaries, or even the years of major trips to remember - no matter what dates you choose this wine box is special. Each box is hand etched with the names and "established" date of the recipient. I will say this gift was marketed for newlyweds but I think I love it for Grandparents even more.

So, I love this quirky little idea for the Grandparents who have it all - the old fashioned view finder toy is customized with your photos on the film wheel. Imagine filling your slides with photos from a family trip or special photos of the grandparents meeting their newest loves for the first time. It's unique and special, perfect for grandparents with a sense of humor!

Choose a special place to the grandparents and have this gorgeous print made up to hang on their walls. The city where they were married, grew their family, a favorite travel destination - the options are endless.


Mother In Law Gift Guide


Mother In Law Gift Guide



Every year, I get the same question: "are you going to do a Mother In Law gift guide!?" and every year I genuinely love putting together a list of gifts that are thoughtful, classic, fit all kinds of interests, budgets and relationships and would be gifts that I would personally love to give or receive. 

Each item on this list is perfect for any important woman in your life, whether or not she birthed your spouse. Almost all of the gifts can be personalized, none require you to know any specifics on sizing or fit and all are listed at great price points. Happy shopping, friends! 

Mother In Law Gift Guide




Portions of this post were written in partnership with Soma Intimates. If you love this gift guide and plan to shop the post, please consider checking out in a web browser and not in an Instagram window or via an app. I do receive a small commission on purchases made via my links and unfortunately do not get credit for any sales made in an app (including the Amazon app on mobile) or via Instagram browser window. If a link from Olive and Tate is the last link you click before checking out, I will receive credit for your sale. Thank you so much for your continued support! 

1. Embraceable Plush Collar Robe
Ok, I know a robe isn't a truly ground breaking suggestion for a Mother In Law but hold on to your hats kids, because this Embraceable Plush Collar Robe from Soma is all kinds of amazing and absolutely a must. Why? Oh because the collar is lined with fleecy, plush wonderfulness, perfect for anyone who needs to feel like life is good. Seriously, this robe is unreal, I sleep in mine. The cotton material is a medium weight knit with a touch stretch so it won't cling and the all of the details are covered - the pockets are deep and the robe is attached, two things that matter in the world of robes.

The sizing is also idea for gifting because it comes in a S/M, L/XL and XXL which covers a great range of body types without requiring you to know the specifics of you mother in law's sizing. 

Mother In Law Gift Guide

Ok, let me just say this: Soma was kind enough to send me a pair of their Cool Nights Pajamas and I have no idea how to explain how they work, except that they must be woven with magic. They are soft, just the right weight and have Cool Nights technology which actually keeps your body cool as you sleep at night. Believe it people, cuz it's true. If you're a warm sleeper, wake up in the middle of the night shoving off covers, or sleep next to a furnace of a partner, not only do you need these but you're going to need to gift them to your MIL, too (especially if you've heard talk recently of hot flashes and the like).

I have a pair in the Vintage Pink notched collar top and traditional Cool Nights Pajama pants but also look the classic look of the Kimono CEO in Black Cool Nights set

If the Cool Nights technology wouldn't ring your Mother In Law's bell, I'm fairly certain she would be happy to snuggle up in the Cozy Nights long sleeve top in Heather Vintage Pink - it's cut so that you can absolutely wear it out of the house and is perfect as the first thing you put on after you walk through the door. You can make it a set with either shorts or pants, all of which are insanely soft. Cozy, soft, warm and flattering, this is the kind of gift every MIL can get behind.

I love how simple and clean this gold birthstone bangle is - it really will fit into any woman's wardrobe. You can choose to personalize the birthstone to match your mother in law's birth month or choose the birth month of her fave child, who I assume you're married to. They would also be gorgeous stacked so you could purchase a few over the course of birthdays and holidays to represent those most important to her. 

Something about a French Press feels fancy and luxe, a feeling any woman can understand. This little pot comes in a ton of finishes (so you can skip the copper in favor of a more traditional tone like stainless steel), makes up to 8 cups and is perfect for spoiling a coffee lover. 

Le Mer is the gold standard of luxury skin care and this set comes with two of it's most popular products, The Moisturizing Cream and The Concentrate for less than $100. 

This may be my favorite find of the holiday season! I had no idea the famous Capri Blue candle comes in both a room spray and a reed diffuser but I plan to stock up ASAP. With a universally pleasing scent (think Anthropologie store) the Capri Blue has a cult following - so it's sure to please! 

Perfect for the Mother In Law who loves to travel (or has an overflowing jewelry collection), I love how thoughtful the monogram and color choice options can make this little travel case

Want to see more of my gifting guides for Her? Click here

The new beauty must have - and a gift perfect for the MIL who already has everything - is the Slip beauty sleep silk pillow case. It comes in a ton of gorgeous colors to match any bedding and is anti-aging, anti-sleep creasing and anti-bed head. You can purchase a single silk pillow case here or a set that includes the silk pillow case and a matching Slip silk eye mask here

A classic in the world of cookware, this Le Creuset bowl is pretty enough to use as a serving piece and sturdy enough to proof bread dough, handle cake mixing or whatever else your MIL can throw at it. I love the white, but it comes in a handful of other fun colors. 

I'm here for this: a wine preserver that keeps an open bottle fresh for up to 8 weeks! Each cartridge absorbs 100% of the oxygen within the open bottle within in minutes, allowing for a single glass pour without ruining the bottle. Forget my MIL, this is going on my wish list! 

A sweet throwback, this heart shaped, stainless steel keychain locket can be personalized with an engraving and holds two photos of your MIL's fave faces. 

Everyone loves a little something special to bring out when guests are over or the day calls for a pick me up and I just love this floral pitcher for those very reasons. It's dainty and feminine, perfect for serving or for display. 

What mother in law wouldn't want an excuse to soak in a tub with her book, glass of wine, candle and necessities within reach? This bath tray is a slam dunk, in my opinion! 

update: it looks like the Pie Tin is sold out but there are many other shapes/plates available, like this baking dish, and this jewelry dish from the same shop. 
The most thoughtful gift on the list, this white ceramic pie tin/dish can be personalized with a photo and handwritten recipe. Imagine gifting your Mother In Law with a handwritten recipe and photo of her own mother - or, if you have babes, imagine a recipe written in your child's handwriting of a pie that your MIL and babes made together. 

A truly unique gift, this wooden 3D house portrait will be hand painted to match your Mother In Law's house. Seriously, take a peek at how thoughtful and beautiful these little houses truly are, not a single detail is left out. You could also choose to do a painting of the house your MIL grew up in or a home that was significant to her (say, the house she raised her children in, if they've downsized). 

This sweet little keepsake box is engraved with the words "May the memories last forever" and can be customized with different quote or inscription of your choice. The photo can be added/changed out so you can choose a special snap or let your MIL pick the perfect photo. 

Sweet, simple and hand made, I love the script on this note card set. You can choose your personalize color but this style will always be simple and classic. 

I always keep a blank journal on hand to jot down ideas and make lists so I am partial to this spiral bound journal with your MIL's name printed on the front. The watercolor floral pattern comes in a range of shades and the interior cover can be personalized with a special note and photo, which makes for a very sweet touch. 

For the book lover (or the chef, there's also a recipe stamp!), this heavy duty, gorgeous Library Embosser rubber stamp is a really unique gift. I am surprised at how friendly the price point is and know that any bibliophile would be thrilled to put their stamp to work in their library. 

Mother In Law Gift Guide



Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions

Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions

Thank you to Milo's Tea Company for sponsoring this post. All recipes and onions are my own. 

It's been forever since I last posted a recipe but I've been busy in the kitchen, prepping for all things holiday, so I thought I'd take a quick break to share my latest and greatest. When it comes to Thanksgiving, I'm all about the sides. If I'm being honest, I kind of find traditional roast turkey to be a bit boring (which is why we fry ours!) so I'm always looking for ways to bring in a new flavor to the classic holiday feast. 

This year, I set out to create a fresh take on one of my favorite sides that rarely sees a Thanksgiving table - but is about to become the star of the show - caramelized onions. And not just any caramelized onions, Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions. 

Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions

To make our onions the perfect turkey topping, I'm using Milo's Tea Company Sweet Tea in place of adding sugar during the cooking process and in lieu of wine to deglaze the pan. When paired with the flavor of a strong red onion, the award winning Milo's Sweet Tea brings out an amazing sweet tang as the onions cook. With no preservatives or added acids, the natural, brewed-from-real-tea-leaves flavor doesn't leave a bitter taste in the onions, perfect for those who might be skeptical about a heavy onion-y flavor. 

You're going to love how easy this recipe is, all you need is a little patience and you'll be all set!

Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions

Ingredients:

Half a stick of salted butter
1 large red onion, sliced
3 Tablespoons Milo's Sweet Tea

Method:

In a heavy bottomed pan or skillet, melt butter on medium heat 
added sliced red onion to the warm pan 
mix until onions are coated with butter 
cook on medium low heat, stirring regularly 

Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions

The onions will change from a clear state to a light brown state, once the onions are light brown, add the Milo's Sweet Tea to the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. 

Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions

Allow the onions to continue cooking on medium to medium low heat until desired level of done-ness. I prefer mine to be very dark brown and the sweet tea to thicken. 

Total cooking time should be 45 mins - 1 hour on medium to medium low heat. 

Serve warm over turkey or as a side dish to a roast. As a total bonus, the Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions taste amazing on a leftover turkey sandwich - just add white cheddar, sliced turkey, and the onions (cold or warmed) to toast and you'll be a happy camper! 

Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions

Note: if you're serving a crowd for the holidays plan to increase your cooking time by 20-30 minutes. Lower and slower will be your friend with this recipe! 



Milo's Sweet Tea is available in unsweet, no calorie sweetened with sucrose and sweetened in the refrigerated section of your local grocery. Click here to find Milo's in your neighborhood. 

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Sweet Tea Caramelized Onions




5 Tips For Hosting Overnight Guests with Hamilton Beach


5 Tips For Hosting Overnight Guests with Hamilton Beach

Thank you to Hamilton Beach for sponsoring this post. All thoughts, opinions and mediocre hostessing tips are my own. 

'Tis the season, my friends! 

Pull out the extra pillows, pump up the air mattress and stash those dirty dishes: company is coming. We have an open door policy for friends and family who wish to endure special, quality time in our crazy home and what we lack in accommodations, I try to make up for in hospitality.

Knowing that our guests are treated to a stay in my son's room (hey, at least the bed is a queen) while he bunks up with us and that our playroom will never, ever be free of LEGOs to step on, we rely on little gestures here and there to remind our visitors that we do really appreciate that they were brave enough to crash at our casa. 

Behold,  5 of my favorite ways to ensure our guests feel comfortable in our home: 

5 Tips For Hosting Overnight Guests with Hamilton Beach

1. Caffeine To Order

I am actually the only dedicated coffee drinker in our house. My husband is happy to grab an occasional pick me up here and there but this mama is the only one who relies on a hot cup of coffee every morning. Because it's just me, I never see the need to dirty up a coffee pot. When guests are around, I know we'll need more than my single cup so I pull out the big guns: my FlexBrew by Hamilton Beach. Guys this thing is an amazing, best of both worlds kind of set up. Because it's compatible with both k-cup packs or ground coffee, I can set the timer to brew a full pot first thing in the morning, prep a little coffee bar and allow everyone to fill their mug as they wake up in the am. If the classic roast doesn't put a pep in someone's step, they can use a single pod to brew their own chosen cup of java. 

Even better, the FlexBrew allows you to choose your brew strength so we can really amp things up if the pervious night has been a restless one. 

5 Tips For Hosting Overnight Guests with Hamilton Beach

In my opinion, nothing says "we're glad you're here" quite like the smell of freshly brewing coffee first thing in the morning. And nothing prevents family squabbles quite like getting to pick out your very own brew, so it's clearly a win all around. As a bonus for me, once the guests are gone, I put away the coffee bar fixings but keep out the FlexBrew because it can make just one cup a time - and comes complete with a tiny basket for a single cup's worth of coffee grounds that you can use in place of a K-Cup!


P.S. There's another win at the end of this post, so keep reading! 

5 Tips For Hosting Overnight Guests with Hamilton Beach

2. Passwords and Tricky Tech

We dropped cable when we moved into our house in Charlotte, so we make sure that all of our visitors know how to work our TV's. That's proven to be easier said than done as far as my Mom goes, but we're working on it! We also made sure to set our WiFi password as something easy to remember (I'm sure anyone who knows my husband well could guess that it's related to his alma matter) so that it's available for an easy log on. We write the WiFi password down and leave it in an obvious place (say, near the coffee bar!) so that everyone has access when they want it. 

3. Shared Spaces

You may remember that our hall bath is also our guest bath and the bath that our children use, so it get's a ton of traffic. My parents recently came to visit and I asked them if they needed anything - and it wasn't until that moment that I realized the only shampoo and such in the guest bath was meant for delicate baby skin. Oops! Since then, I've been sure to stash real deal body wash, shampoo and soap under the cabinet so that all of our visitors can avoid squeezing their soap from a Mickey Mouse shaped bottle. 

We also make sure to grab everything that Gray will need for the entirety of our guest's visit from his room - that means clothes, stuffed animals, special blankets, whatever. I want our guests to feel like the room is theirs for the visit, and don't want to intrude on their space by popping in constantly for a fresh pair of Spider Man undies. We also try to de-little boy the room a tiny bit by moving the LEGO skyscrapers to the playroom, containing the lovies in the baskets where they belong and clearing off the books and such from his bedside tables. I mean, let's face it, no one wants to wake up in the night, search for a bathroom in a strange house and worry they're going to take out a LEGO village with their bare feet on the way. 

4. Scents and Smells

Strong scents like air fresheners and candles can sometimes trigger headaches or allergies so I make sure to eighty six all faux smells at least 24 hours before guests arrive. Instead of using an aerosol spray or plug in scent, I use lemons and limes to freshen up my kitchen and garbage cans. Cut a lime into quarters and toss them down the disposal - give it a run and the citrus will cut through any grime and smell amazing. The same goes for a lemon half squeezed into a lined garbage can! 

5. Charged

And finally, we keep an assortment of charging cables on hand for anyone who might have forgotten a cord. A tip I learned from my best friend is to go ahead and plug in one charging cable near the bed where guests will be staying, it will help them get settled if they arrive at night, which will be much appreciated by the road weary. 

If you're hosting this holiday season, I've got you covered! Hamilton Beach and I are giving away a Flex Brew coffee maker identical to mine so that you can set up your own coffee station for your guests to enjoy. Head to my Instagram to enter!  If you're more of an Amazon Prime kinda hostess, be sure to enter code 10FLEXBREW for 10% off the FlexBrew on Amazon. 

5 Tips For Hosting Overnight Guests with Hamilton Beach

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photos by Kristen Bishop Day

For Him: The 2018 Guy's Gift Guide

For Him: The 2018 Guy's Gift Guide


 Oh, these men. Why are they so dang hard to gift?! I truly think about my husband's Christmas gift for months at a time and am always hoping to overhear him mention something that he wants to save me from all of the brain wracking. 

If you're in the same boat, I feel for you and I've got you. I've done the heavy lifting and I think I've got them all covered: from the guy who loves to bring out his guitar at the party to the craft beer guru, golf lover, traveler, tech guy, fisherman, bearded man, hipster, dog lover, outdoorsman, alma matter obsessed, Green Egg grilling, music loving dude, there's a gift here for everyone! 

For Him: The 2018 Guy's Gift Guide



If you love this gift guide and plan to shop the post, please consider checking out in a web browser and not in an Instagram window or via an app. I do receive a small commission on purchases made via my links and unfortunately do not get credit for any sales made in an app (including the Amazon app on mobile) or via Instagram browser window. If a link from Olive and Tate is the last link you click before checking out, I will receive credit for your sale. Thank you so much for your continued support! 

My husband is a coffee drinking, wine appreciating, occasional cigar on the golf course kind of guy who rarely takes time out to take care of himself. Recently, I got him to go to our primary care doctor and my next self care mission is to erase all of that colic induced coffee staining on his teeth. I know he would never bother to shop around for the best teeth whitener, let alone block off time out of the office to go in for a dentist chair whitening, so when SmileNV asked if we wanted to give their light free, at home whitening kits a go, I jumped at the chance. 

For Him: The 2018 Guy's Gift Guide

Powered by CP+ which is dentist grade whitening, no blue light required (turns out that whole blue light thing doesn't actually work to whiten your teeth, who knew!?), each kit comes with everything he'll need to get started - and if you have a guy like mine in your life, the simpler, the better when it comes to a self care regimen. The trays can be molded to your teeth and worn for 30 minutes up to 2 hours for major changes in a short period of time. And best of all, no sore teeth after. 

For Him: The 2018 Guy's Gift Guide

SmileNV was kind enough to offer my readers a limited time 20% discount with code OT20 off at checkout so go on and get you one! 

Bonus: the kit comes with two trays, so one might just be for you.... 

Man bag, meet diaper bag. I am so here for this amazing backpack style tote that can transition from work bag to family crap holder in a second. The interior is a bright pop of orange for a fun contrast to the classic canvas outside and it makes for a masculine, classic look even while toting diapers.

A 4-in-1 grilling tool that combines a spatula, basting brush, corkscrew and bottle opener, this little guy does it all. It's stainless steel and rust proof so it would be perfect for camping! 




I really feel like I hit the ball out of the park with this Growler/Keg because it's just so unique. You can choose between stainless steel or copper, 64oz or 128 oz and a laser engraved or plain interchangeable tap handle. Each growler is made from 18/8 vacuum sealed stainless steel with chrome plated brass fittings and is meant to keep beer, champagne/carbonated cocktails fresh for up to 2 weeks. P.S. It comes with two CO2 cartridges to get you started! 

5. Poncho Fishing Shirt 
I'm not sure that I've mentioned this before but my family is full of fishermen - my dad is a charter captain and my brother is an officer with the Marine Police Department in the state of Virginia's PD. They love to travel to fishing holes off the beaten path (like Alaska and Panama) and I'm always on the hunt for fishing gear that isn't just for casual wear but actually protects them/is useful on the boat. This fishing shirt is my new fave, with built in SPF 50, magnetic snap pockets that open/close with one hand, a reinforced collar to stand up to the sun, a pocket large enough to hold a tackle box (or iPhone) and quick dry fabric. It also happens to be the only fishing shirt in the world that comes in a slim fit so if your guy typically finds a fishing shirt oversized and boxy, I've got you covered.

I love the leather stripe on this little key chain - and it hides a lightening to USB charging cable so you never have to be without a charge. My husband is always digging around for his chargers so having one attached to his key ring guarantees that I'm not constantly being accused of "borrowing" his. 

But not just any water bottle, a YETI Rambler 26oz vacuum sealed stainless steel water bottle that will keep your liquids cold or hot for like one million hours. This is the perfect price point to join the YETI obsession without breaking the bank - and it makes a great stocking stuffer! 

I can think of a handful of Justin's best guy friends who would love to pull this this shot gun shell golf ball marker out of their bag. Apparently, one needs a golf ball marker to prove they got closest to the hole on the first shot, but don't ask me, I'm no expert. You can snag a single shot gun shell golf ball marker for under $10 or a set of three (patterns include a subway token, bullseye, Viking Shield and a turtle pattern). 

I did my research and according to The Manual, this beard care kit makes their round up of best beard gear because of it's "high quality, hand made organic products that are subtly, yet pleasantly scented".  Also, it comes with something called Beer Body Soap, so I'm certain it will be a hit with all of the Manly Men in your life. The kit comes in either an old cigar box or a traditional leather case. 



10. Tech Charging Stand
There are a million docking station options on the market but I chose this one for the price and dual layout - perfect for an iWatch and iPhone (X/8/8plus/7plus) or an iPad, this stand is perfect for containing the cords and devices on a bedside table or desk. The stand can also be used as a viewing stand for the iPad or iPhone so you can prop up it to watch YouTube videos while charging that battery.

With 5 hours of battery life, this little duo is ideal for exercise and traveling, or for watching your iPad while your wife blares Bravo in your living room. Or so I've heard. These are a splurge but backed by Bose, so the quality should be top of the line. 

If your guy is more in love with your four legged family member than the family member who brought his children into this world, then you're gonna need to get him this set of cufflinks. Each silver cufflink is stamped with the actual nose print of your pup (or cat, if you have a cat who would tolerate having their nose printed), and makes for a subtle tribute to man's best friend.

Because if you have to go camping, you should at least be treated to a double hammock.

Want a few more gift suggestions for Him? Check out last year's guide

I've got it on good authority that "Egg Heads" are partial to a quick start on their Big Green Egg and this electric version will heat those coals in no time flat. Perfect for any size Egg and needing just a regular outlet, this is an Egg accessory that is fairly fail proof - or so say the guys on Amazon!

I strongly believe that all men need a true dopp kit to hold their manly grooming essentials (I gave Justin a monogrammed canvas version for our first dating Christmas) and I love this camo leather version. It can be monogrammed with a gold stamp monogram and has an easy to clean interior. 

Available in what seams like every school under the sun (hello, Maine Black Bears!), I am in love with the unique, bold styles of these college mascot prints. Each print is available in three sizes, the customer photos show extremely saturated and strong colors and most larger schools have more than one design option to choose from. 

For the guy who loves to bring out his guitar at the party, I love this personalized silver guitar pick with leather case (that can be attached to a key ring). The pick can be engraved on one or both sides, and the leather case can see some of that action too, so the options to make it unique are endless. If I were buying it for the guy I married (who loves to bring out his guitar at the party), I would probably hit it with a snippet of lyrics from the first song he ever played for me.....any guesses?? 
Shaped to resemble an acorn for max acoustics, this little speaker is wireless, outdoor ready and truly beautiful. It is made of real walnut wood and has up to 7 hours of speaker life. I imagined it for my husband's desk but love the idea that he can take it with him anywhere. If you don't love the dark wood, check out the bamboo version.

In all honesty, my husband always steals my favorite weekend sized carry on suitcase so this is really a gift for me, to him. This tote looks like it could carry a body/is waterproof for stormy travel so I'm confident it will hold all of his things and a few of mine for a quick get away. Bonus: the straps can be adjusted to be shoulder straps for easier transport. If you prefer a canvas option, I also have my eye on this one

Toddler Gift Guide 2018



Oh, the todders. As, um, challenging as they may be, they are really fun to gift - finally at the age where they'll be into the holidays (and not just the boxes and wrapping paper), this is the first year that I really am excited to choose specific presents for sweet baby Georgia. This year, I'm focusing on make believe, fostering her imagination and developmental toys to keep her engaged and interested. Georgia will be almost 19 months old on Christmas Day so this guide is geared toward the under three crowd. If you're searching for first Christmas gifting inspo click here and the preschooler ideas are here!

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I am a huge fan of Camp Castle products and fell even more in love when I met the family behind them at a pop event recently. Each play mat is hand designed by Hayley, the mama of the group, and trust me when I say that each illustration is gorgeous. My kiddos each have the mini/placemat sized version (Gray has this one and Georgie loves her princess castle) but I love the larger version for a play space. The material is perfect for a playroom - sturdy and easy to wipe down) and will work perfectly over carpet or hardwoods. If you happen to live in Florida, Texas, Utah or California, you're gonna need to pop over to the site! 

This little hedgehog is perfect for teaching little fingers fine motor skills with a side of basic color knowledge. As a bonus, the quills are peg shaped and store inside the hedgehog to keep pieces from getting lost. 

Equipped with a motion sensor, voiced numbers, letters and colors, plus shake and rattle toys, this is perfect for the younger toddlers. 

This crayon set is new to me and I am obsessed with them - the unique shape is meant to encourage early hand and finger grip on either hand. They are non-toxic, erasable and made of eco-friendly polymer because we all know they'll go directly into a toddler mouth the second they're out of the package. Georgia will be getting a set of these in her stocking! 

Also available in a "Joey" version - Julia comes with 24 pieces and can be dressed "for success" as everything from a firewoman to a superhero and artist. Melissa and Doug toys are favorites in our house and the wood/quality constructions ensures they last. 


I chose this set of pretend food for the crates, honestly. I love a play set that comes with it's own obvious storage solution because it encourages my kiddos to put their toys away without having to be specific about where it goes. As long as the food ends up in the crates, it counts! 

We chose the pink version of this dress up brand as Georgia's halloween costume and I was pleasantly surprised with the quality for the price point. Soft, sturdy and easy to get on and off, we'll add a few more to our dress up trunk for the holidays. 

If this inspires my toddler to start cleaning, I'm here for it. She does love to follow me around the kitchen "helping" so this year, I'm giving her the tools to make and impact. 

Also available in a Dump Truck version - big pieces for little toddler hands and the unique 3D design make this puzzle a unique choice - I also really love the price point! 

I think this sweet little dress up rack will be Georgie's big gift from Santa this year. She's very into dress up and I don't have a way to store her gear just yet. I love the hanging option but also the open bin below to handle the shoes, tiaras and miscellaneous pieces. 

Georgia's toddler class has this piggy bank and it was her favorite toy on her very first visit to the classroom. This Piggy Bank has Smart Stages technology which means the learning content can change as the baby grows. The coins each have an animal on one side and a number on the other, along with songs and sounds played by the bank as each coin drops in. 

Inside of the egg carton is lined with different shapes that correspond with the shape on the bottom of each egg - to put them in their place, shapes have to be matched and then the chick will "hatch". Each chick is a different color and they make a chirping sound when you press them into their eggs.



If you're in the market for a big gift, the play kitchen can't be beat. This particular version is by Melissa and Doug, has a pink retro vibe (but is also available in a grey version) and an ice dispenser. 

We love wooden sound puzzles around here, they're sturdy and can take a beating, plus the sound seems to catch and keep my 16 month old's attention. We still have a few from when Gray was that age but we're always updating Georgia's stash on special occasions. 

The perfect beginner alphabet book, this personalized version includes the first letter of your child's name. The illustrations are simple and sweet, Georgia will for sure find this under our tree this year. 

I love that this toy combines three or four classic toddler toys into one - the shape matching cube we all know and love, a pull toy and a construction truck in one, this wooden shape sorter truck is amazing. 

17. Bilibo
Just like the Teeter Popper from the Preschooler Gift Guide, I am in love with the Bilibo from a sensory perspective. The Bilibo was designed with child development experts to encourage sensory seeking, imaginative play and, you know, to get those wiggles out. The Bilibo can be a seat, a shell, used for rocking, used for laying, basically whatever your little can come up with.

Literally the thing that stood out to me most with this learning cube is that the sound can be turned down for "quieter play". In all seriousness, it combines sounds, songs, letters, numbers and shapes to teach your babes as they play. It's also available in a primary color scheme, if that's more your speed.



Baby's first race cars! This soft sided set of pull-back cars would be perfect to use on your Camp Castle Play Mat. I would pop open this set of 4 and wrap each vehicle individually for a full stocking! 

Designed for 18 months to 4 years, the goal of the Touch and Teach book is to introduce over 100 sight words. The coolest part is the book can be set to a handful of learning modes like teaching individual letters, seek and find and Music Time. In our house, this will be the perfect option for little sister while her brother plays on his tablet! 

Happy Shopping!