2014 Holiday Gift Guide: for the Kids

Kid's Gift Guide: Christmas 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

musical instruments | pram | dovetail horse & alligatorred cowboy shoes
PBS toys that give back shape sorter | giant lionslope sliders | mini Ergo doll carrier
programming for 5-7 year olds, ScratchJr|  infinite tree | doll house
the Alchemist Matter kit | striped baby pants | knit sweater

Have you finished up your Christmas shopping? I’m almost there. It’s one of those years where you think you’re done and then you realize that you’re still missing gifts for under the tree. The best part about this Christmas? We’re hosting it at our house again so the girls get to wake up Christmas morning to our own cozy living room and we have that many fewer gifts to ship or box up for traveling (let the traditions begin!). Most of our family is coming to visit at some point between the weekend before Christmas and New Years and I’m really excited about it.

A few ideas for babies and kids: I love that PBS is teaming up with Wholefoods to bring a line of toys to their stores that are sustainable and that give back to those in need. This shape sorter (which is great for motor skills, learning shapes and colors, stacking) is one of the toys on shelves this year. I’m surprising Liv with a mini Ergo doll carrier when baby #3 arrives in January – I can’t think of a better mommy & me gift while I tote around the newest little one :). As a website designer, I’m also really excited to introduce Liv to programming for beginners – I’ve been doing some research and I think that ScratchJr is where we’ll start! This is a skill that kid’s need to grow up with. Any little scientists in the house? Check out this kickstarter for the Alchemist Matter kit. I love toys that grow with kids and we have this adorable Mishi Design push toy for the girls (they use it as a baby carriage, shopping cart, ride along…) but I think this pram from Land of Nod is equally adorable. Finally, I have a mini dollhouse for the girls in the works (diying it to sort of collapse in on itself so that it’s super small for their shared room) but I’m using all of the Hape toy furniture – their wooden houses are adorable!

I have one more quick Christmas gift idea to share with you. A friend of mine here in San Diego has an Etsy shop that specializes in dinosaur and shark sweatshirts (she rebuilds the hoodies with spikes and teeth!) and asked me to take a few photos of the girls one afternoon wearing her adorable designs.

Kid's Gift Guide: Christmas 2014 | Dinosaur Sweatshirts | PepperDesignBlog.com

Kid's Gift Guide: Christmas 2014 | Dinosaur Sweatshirts | PepperDesignBlog.com

Kid's Gift Guide: Christmas 2014 | Dinosaur Sweatshirts | PepperDesignBlog.com

The girls were movin’ and groovin’ and it was so difficult to snap crystal clear pics, but they loved those warm sweatshirts! Learn more about them here. I had a pink one made for Liv last year (she loves Dinosaur Train on KPBS) and ordered two more for friends this year.

PS a quick link to the guy’s gift guide and ladies gift guide for this year, and a roundup of all gift guides posted on this site from the last several years! I still love everything shared and it’s great for last-minute perusing. I look for a LOT of my favorite gifts on Amazon and use that as a primary link just in case you’re as addicted to Prime 2-day shipping as I am. Thinking of going handmade? Here are all of those posts for those ideas, too.

Two Step Lavender Wreaths

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

If you’ve been following along since Monday, you know that we have an abundance of garden lavender that’s no longer blooming that I’ve been using up for different little projects. This cranberry lavender infused simple syrup for holiday cocktails (and mocktails) is still at the top of my book :). So, so good.

I have a stack of embroidery hoops in my garage that I had hoped to use for a craft project (with yarn, lots and lots of wrapped yarn!) for the girls’ room. After 2-3 attempts at ‘my vision’, I just couldn’t make it happen. But I pulled those embroidery hoops out just recently and found a new temporary use for them. Love that after the holidays I can take the lavender back off of the wood and use the hoops again for something else.

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

Any sort of craft, beading or floral wire will work, I am using a really thin gauge in gold for this project as well as five wooden embroidery hoops (each hoop is actually only half of one hoop since embroidery hoops come with an inner and outer circle. You can use both. I bought several of these deeply discounted because they only had one piece of the hoop left in the craft store – perfect for me!).

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

This is a super simple project. Simply wrap lavender (or rosemary) along the hoop and secure at various places with wire.

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

A couple of hints: keep lavender moving in the same direction, start one piece where another stops (to help hide the stem) and then fill in littler sprigs where there are some sparse spots. Use the wire to help correct any funny angles in the lavender and to shape it as closely to the edge of the hoop as possible.

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

I probably went around each hoop 2-3 times to keep the wreath simple and thin, though a very full version of this wreath would be beautiful!

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

Lots of little mini ones would be pretty as present toppers (or hostess gifts – a friend made us one out of just rosemary without the hoop last year and I kept it over our stove range all season).

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

I hung the wreaths over pictures in our dining room by tucking ribbon around the wreath and then right behind the anchored picture. The color has begun to fade a bit as the lavender leaves dry, but the smell is still wonderful :).

Lavender Wreath DIY | PepperDesignBlog.com

Happy weekend!

An embroidered Christmas pillow (for the non-sewer), pretty holiday gift tags for $0, above feathered Christmas tree DIY and lots of carefully crafted gift guides to peruse for last-minute shopping. 

Everyday Stuff.

Oh you guys! These last couple of months have been so busy… 2014 truly has felt as though it’s been a sprint from start to (near) finish.

I feel like I used to document everything. Every. single. moment. And then I sort of took a good year off of carrying my camera around. And now I’m back 50% of the time with my big ole’ DSLR (new lens!) or even the iPhone in hand. I love and miss capturing so many little moments. Maybe one of the biggest benefits of social media? (Instagram, here’s looking at you).

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

Everyday Stuff. November & December 2014 | PepperDesignBlog.com

We’ve spent our weekends: pulling our beat up sailboat ‘Madness’ out of a friend’s backyard storage and into the water (a favorite pre-kiddo past time), testing out Liv’s new bike (thanks, Grandpa), witnessing SC win one at home, taking sooo many trips to the park, ambling San Diego’s famous Balboa with visiting family, creating sock hands for singing fun with Mimi, finding the perfect Christmas tree. And a belly update for you! My girlfriend threw me and another friend the sweetest ‘drizzle’ for our 3rd babies. Delicious food, great company, lots of baby excitement. The whole morning was perfect.

Here’s to capturing MANY more of the special moments. How can you have a bad day when you get to look back on when your 18-month-old mopped the random store floor by dancing while lying on the ground? Or not break out in smiles when flipping through an entire album that your almost-4-year-old took on your phone of every one of her stuffies (how did I not catch that. We’re talking page after page after page of photos…). Perhaps more captured moments needs to be a resolution for 2015. Wait, is that in less than three weeks?

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