Christmas 2016

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! My toddler is super into the holidays this year and I have been taking a little time off from projects to spend as much time with my little munchkins as possible.  I always enjoy the holidays, but they are even more fun with little kids who believe in all the magic and stories you tell them!

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We visited the North Pole in Colorado back in July and while we were there we signed Hollis up to receive a letter from Santa. We didn’t do one for Bowen because he doesn’t really get it yet, but Hollis was so excited to get hers. I think I read it 40 times in the days leading up to Christmas.  It also helped with all of the threats I made to her that Santa wouldn’t bring her presents if she was naughty. She is so, so naughty these days (three-year olds, am I right?!),  I don’t know what I’m going to do the rest of the year when I can’t use Santa as leverage! We are definitely going to do Santa letters again next year (one for Bo too!) and as many years as they will let me.

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I have dreaded taking the kids to see Santa because of impending freak outs, and waiting in long lines with very small, impatient children. Hollis has never been up for it in the past anyways.  But when Brian’s uncle told us he was dressing up as Santa at the Fort Hays basketball game, we decided to brave it. I talked to Hollis about it for a couple of days prior, and she promised me that she would sit on his lap. When the time came, she was a little hesitant, but once she was on his lap, she was good to go. I think it really helped that Uncle Rich was our first Santa.  My little stoic man Bo just sat there and took everything in like a champ.

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We spread our Christmas across three days with four different celebrations. We got to spend time with lots of family and got spoiled with food and gifts. I usually spend lots of time stressing about what to get everyone and worrying about whether or not I got everyone equally awesome gifts. This year I took a different route and made some handmade gifts. It was a lot of fun creating things for people and doing my favorite thing, DIY/crafting. It’s not something I would do every year, but it was fun to do something a little different for a change. They were so much fun to make that I am hoping to make myself one, and when I do I will try to do a little tutorial on it.

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I still can’t believe that the holidays are already over, but I am looking forward to taking all the decorations down and putting things back in their normal place…like my coffee table I had to put the Christmas tree on this year to keep it away from my busy-body 10 month old! I have a long list of projects I want to get to this year and I can’t wait to get back in the groove and get started on them. Hope you all had a merry everything!

 

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Holiday Gift Guide: For (almost) Anyone In Your Life

Hope everyone had great Thanksgiving!

Ours was awesome, I think living away from your family makes you appreciate every minute with them even more. We traveled to Kansas City the Wednesday before, my plan was to come back the following Sunday. The weather here at home had other plans though. They had quite the little ice storm here so I ended up staying in KC until Tuesday because the roads here were just too icy to travel on. I grew up in the Midwest so driving in ice and snow is nothing new, but being pregnant apparently makes everyone question your driving capabilities! The good news is, I got to spend my birthday there and did some solid shopping. And by the time I got back here to the farm, the ice was almost completely gone!

While I was getting my shopping done, I mostly shopped for Christmas gifts (and some baby stuff too!) Picking out gifts for my family is no problem, but you know those awkward times when you need to buy a gift for someone you don’t know all that well? It could be a white elephant gift, a co-worker, a new neighbor, or an extended family member. This is where I hit a snag. I have a couple of gifts to buy for people that I just don’t know that well and it has been stumping me.

I love to buy gifts, but when it comes to people I don’t know very well, I tend to second guess myself. What if I buy a bottle of wine for someone who doesn’t drink? What if I buy a beautiful pink cardigan only to find out that the receiver of the cardigan HATES pink? What if I buy a cute little dog figurine for someone and find out they have a debilitating fear of dogs?  These are the thoughts that run through my mind all of December!  I know it’s the thought that counts, but I still don’t want to be known as the person who gives crappy gifts. So I decided to come up with some gifts that require little knowledge of the person receiving the gift.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: For (almost) Anyone In Your Life

2015 gift guide

  1. Stumptown Coffee and Mast Brothers Chocolate Pairing Who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate?! I like this gift because it’s gender neutral and feels decadent.
  2. Fringe Colorblock Soap + Dish Set Everyone uses soap…I hope. And this simple gold and white dish would fit in with almost anyone’s decor, anytime of year.
  3.  Ceramic Ring Holder How pretty are these ring holders?! I love gifts that are pretty AND practical. I don’t know any gal who wouldn’t appreciate one of these.
  4. Color-Cut Cake Stand Again, this falls under pretty and practical. I also love that this looks much more expensive than it is. It would be a great gift for anyone who likes to bake or entertain.
  5. Urban Cheesecraft: Mozzarella and Ricotta This would be great for the foodie in your life. Or anyone who loves cheese….which should be everyone!
  6. Branly Candle Holders So these may be a little too funky for some people. But they are so fun and would be great for anyone you know who has great style.
  7. Gold Cocktail Shaker + Strainer This classic style shaker is great for anyone who likes cocktails. Even if they already have a shaker, this one is pretty enough to leave out all the time.
  8. Just Add Color Adult coloring books are so popular right now. I love this mid-century modern one would appeal to guys, gals, young, and old.

Happy shopping!

Gift Guide: Father’s Day

Father’s Day is one of those holidays that constantly sneaks up on me. Like every. single. year. I find the guys in my life are pretty hard to buy things for. Anytime I ask what they want, it’s usually followed with an, ‘I don’t care’ or ‘I don’t know…whatever.’ Not helpful, guys! My usual go-to gift is an Amazon gift card or a tool of some sort, but sometimes I like to shake things up and give them something that they’re not expecting. I have come up with a list of gifts that I have yet to hear guys complain about receiving.

Gift Guide: Father's Day // thegoldbrickroad.com

1. Fitbit. My guy loves gadgets. And what’s better than a gadget attached to his wrist that he can play with all day? These are great for tracking your activity and sleep. My favorite part is that they have a silent alarm so that my husband and I can wake up at different times without waking the other.

2. Lab Series Face Scrub and Shave Gel. My hubby  has been using these since way back when we were dating. He loves this stuff and it’s very rare for him to get excited about toiletries. I’ve even caught myself using the invigorating face scrub “accidentally” and I agree, it’s pretty awesome.

3. Slippers. I love slippers. And I just sort of assume everyone else does too. This pair is great because they are nice and sturdy and have a hard sole. Great for slipping on to run the trash out to the dumpster.

4. Yeti Thermos. I had never heard of Yeti until my husband pointed out their insanely expensive coolers to me. Yeah….$400 for a cooler isn’t happening anytime soon, but I might compromise and splurge on a 20 oz. thermos!

5. Power Bank. Another good gadget. Keep your cell phone or other compatible devices charged when you’re on the go. My husband farms so he is outdoors most of the day and usually away from a cell phone charger so this little gadget is a lifesaver.

6. Favorite Sports Team Shirt. We love our Kansas City Royals around here, and my husband wears their shirts until they fall apart.

7. Tickets. Even better than his favorite sports team shirt….tickets to a game!

Treat Yo Self: A Mother’s Day Gift Guide

I’m still new to this whole Mother’s Day thing (I’ve only celebrated one), but so far I’m a big fan of it.  And I know it’s a few years off, but I’m excited for the days when Hollis will bring maccaroni art and adorable scribbled cards home from school for Mother’s Day. I still remember making those things for my mom and feeling pretty solid that my handmade creation was the greatest gift ever, and I’m sure my mom felt the same way.

Since Mother’s Day is only a  few weeks away, I thought I’d compile a list of ideas for that special mom in your life….or for yourself!

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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 Robe

A nice new robe. These are especially handy for when you have to jump out of the shower to see why your child is screaming or why they are being suspiciously quiet. I love this black and white window pane print. Or An extra pretty robe for when you want to feel like a lady. Also good for throwing on and hiding baby spit-up or yogurt smears from your littles.

Earrings

What mama doesn’t need simple, pretty earrings that go with practically everything? I love a classic stud that I can wear from day to night. Or a really pretty statement earring that can dress up any outfit and get her plenty of compliments!

Beauty Products

 This one can be a little tricky as some women are pretty particular about their beauty products. But a safe bet would be to stick with a really luxe feeling body lotion or a nice body scrub. Plus all that lotioning and exfoliating can snag her/you a few extra minutes in the shower. Anything that makes her feel pampered is a good thing!

Nice Pj’s

 I admit I usually consider an old t-shirt as proper sleep attire, but sometimes it’s really nice to put on something that looks nice and makes you feel like a lady. The only matching pj sets I own are ones that were gifted to me. I never buy nice pj’s for myself, but I LOVE getting them as gifts.

Customized Jewelry

Jewelry is awesome. Jewelry that reminds you of your sweet little babes is extra awesome. I think these matching mom and daughter bracelets are just so stinking cute. They come in cute colors and can be customized with little charms. Or a dainty initial necklace with your little ones initials will go with anything and keep them close to your heart. Awwww…

Holiday Gift Ideas: Toddlers and Kids

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is this week! Back in my single days, I’d be done with my Christmas shopping by now….sadly I’ve barely made a dent in my list this year. I’ve been online perusing ideas for gifts for the family. Of course the gifts that are the most fun to shop for are for the littles in my life. Now that my daughter is one and REALLY into toys, I’m finding myself looking at things that can grow with her a little bit so that she’s not bored with all of her gifts in a couple of months. She is also getting some diy/homemade gifts this year too, but I’ll share more on that later. Here is a list of my faves so far!

Children's gifts

 

1. I really want to get Hollis a dollhouse eventually and I’m leaning towards one like this Melissa and Doug Dollhouse . It’s so classic and would suit a boy or girl. Some dollhouses are covered in so much pink and purple, it’s nice to get a break sometimes.

2. Our absolute favorite toy at our house is a play kitchen our cousins so nicely handed-down to us. When Hollis is a little bit older I’d like to upgrade her to one like this. I like the simple design and, again, it would be good for a boy or girl to play with.

3. Has anyone else seen these placemat/bowls?! They are a plate and placemat all-in-one made out of silicone. My favorite part is that they suction to the table so there is no slipping and/or plate dropping. I don’t know about anyone else, but a lot of plate throwing dropping happens in our house.

4. and 5. I recently discovered Petit Collage and I love their toys and crafts. I love any toys that encourage imagination and creativity and their products definitely do that. The prices are very reasonable which make them great for gifts for all the kiddos in my life. These cute little woodland punch-out toys and memory game are adorable!

6. This little easel would entertain us for hours. One side is a chalkboard and the other side is a whiteboard. I love a good two-for-one deal!

7. If you ever get on Pinterest, then I’m sure you’ve seen an adorable teepee or two….or a hundred. Some of them are super expensive and some are amazingly diy’d. This one I found on amazon.com is a good mid-range option. (Although I still really want to make one!)

8. and 9. I love to get pj’s for Christmas. I think they make great gifts. Every kiddo needs a good set of jammies and they’re constantly growing out of them. (why won’t they stay tiny?…why?!) I keep trying to talk Hollis into stop growing, but she just refuses to listen to me. I will probably have a pair of pj’s or two under the tree for her every year! I especially love sets that she can wear all winter and not just around Christmas like this one and these.