Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Perfect Little Gifts

Here's ANOTHER video from yours truly; this one documents Christmas Eve and morning. My family and Uncle Dan helped us celebrate with the twins. We spread out the gift bonanza throughout the day on Christmas Eve, so the babes wouldn't get too overwhelmed.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

e.'s Favorite Things 2010

***DISCLAIMER:  No one paid me to write this post (but they should have).  I'm about to endorse some of my favorite gift ideas for the holidays and the only way I'm getting paid for this is if you kindly click (a few hundred times) on the google ads to the right of the screen.***

Oprah's not the only one who can create a gift guide for the Holidays.  In fact, I've become so obsessed with cyber shopping since Thanksgiving that I've decided to share with you fine people some of my favorite gift giving ideas--in case you needed some creative help.

But first, have you heard of Ebates.com?  It's my new favorite shopping buddy and a fairly user friendly search engine of online retailers offering the best deals and discounts.  I'm getting cash back for my holiday shopping this year!!  If you create an account with Ebates and shop at any of their partnered retailers, you can get anywhere from 1% to 15% cash back on your total purchases.

Ebates uses some sort of magical (potentially intrusive) tracking method to calculate your online orders and then sends a check every quarter with your cash back rewards.  I should be getting a small check sometime in February for this new found obsession (just in time to buy the twins another pair of shoes--lucky me).

Without further ado, here's some neat ideas for those of you needing a little inspiration:

Budget Friendly Ideas:
Shop the stocking stuffer sections of super pretentious, uber-trendy stores like Restoration Hardware, Land of Nod, William Sonoma, Pottery Barn, etc.  Who knows, you might actually find something small you can afford  The store name alone adds more value to the item's monetary worth.  Remember to get a gift box so you can 'name drop' where that sucker came from!

Sip 'N' Swirl glasses from Restoration Hardware for only $5.49!  Best. Useless. Gift. Ever.

Baby's First Christmas ornament from Land of Nod for only $9.95 plus free shipping!  The perfect ornament to dangle from the bottom of the tree where 'someone' will most likely be hanging out.

Thoughtful Ideas:
Monogram it for the person who has everything, or what they want you'll never be able to afford.  Personalized hand towels for a guest bathroom, beach towels for the teacher (or overly tanned friend), apron for the aspiring chef or just about anything monogrammed for that friend who clips bows to her shoes.

Monogrammed Oval Paperwhite Soap Set from Pottery Barn for $39 plus free shipping!  This is perfect for someone who has everything or just moved into a new house: because, really, who in their right mind would spend good money on monogrammed soap--but still nice to show off in any guest bathroom!

Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell.  One year I gave this awesome book to all my sweet girlfriends (and kept a copy for myself).  It's perfect, simple, and says it all.  Can't wait to actually read it to the babies.

Foodie Ideas:
Gourmet food for the family feast you couldn't attend is always a plus--and will ensure you're not forgotten at the dinner table (I've yet to try some of these items, so feel free to ship them my way . . . ).

Chocolate Chocolate Croissants from William Sonoma for $39.  Oprah swears by the original ones, the fact these use the word 'chocolate' twice have won me over regardless of their ridiculous price.

Gift box of 4 cookies from Levain Bakery in NYC for $22.  I've HAD these amazing cookies, right before I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes--quite possibly why I was diagnosed.  One cookie is the size of Mt. Everest--so four are well worth the $22 and will keep 8 grown adults satisfied.

Awesome Almond pound cake from Cakes by Jane for $36.95.  Endorsed by Food Network, Southern Living, Bon Appetit and me these pound cakes are worth it.  The baker is from Asheville, NC so if you're wanting to send something from the South this is the winning ticket.  There are other flavors like key lime, lemon, turtle, etc.

Book Ideas:
Back in 2000 I started collecting that year's Pulitzer Prize novel for fiction.  Now, every year, Dave gets me the newest hardcover for Christmas to add to my collection.  But if snobby book awards are not your thing, go for funky almanacs, pretty coffee table books and favorite children's books from when you were little.

Schott's Almanac is an annual gift at our house.  This book chronicles the weird, bizarre and curious events and statistics from the past year (perfect for the bathroom reader).

The Hunger Games Box Set by Suzanne Collins.  Alright, don't be hatin' but I really liked this trilogy.  It's been the most absorbing teen read since I ventured into the Twilight series a few years ago.  Good news, no waiting for the release of more books, the series is finished and Hollywood is about to start casting for the first installment of movies.  So, if you have a twi-hard on your list--give them this set and thank me later.

Anything by Taschen.  Taschen is an amazing German publisher that continues to produce amazing art books from as little as $15 dollars to upwards of $4500 (yup).  When I worked in Marketing I use to browse various Taschen books to gain artistic inspiration for ad campaigns, etc.

For the Toddler(s) In Your Life:

Alright, here are some of the items the twins are getting--or have already gotten (due to an overly curious attraction to colorfully wrapped packages sitting under a blinking tree that might as well have a huge sign attached saying 'I'm right here!  Open me! Open me! Open me!').

Little Reader chairs by P'kolino.  Let's just say one arrived this evening and we were so thrilled Dave wants an adult version (not sure if one exists . . . ).  I've been dying to create a reading nook in the nursery.  Currently our 'library' is a long pile of books stacked against a wall that Finn tries to sit on when he's 'reading' a story.

Kitchen Accessory Kit by Melissa & Doug.  At the moment the twins are rummaging through a few harmless drawers I've left open for safari.  Unfortunately, I've about had it with rolling up the saran wrap for the 800th time.  So my compromise is this:  the twins get only ONE drawer to play in but it's filled with some pretty pint sized cooking equipment.

Dantoy Crocodile Rocker by Original Toy Company.  Boojah!  I've got twins, guess what they can do . . . play together!!  Don't be hatin' (seriously don't).  We already gave this to them when it arrived and even though they can both ride it or one can sit in the middle and rock--I've heard more screaming than laughter . . .

Weebles Treehouse Value Pack by Playskool.  This was one of our Odes to Mindless Entertainment and good old-fashioned consumerism gifts.  So, naturally, it's a gift from Santa--'nuff said.

Little People Racin' Ramps Garage by Fisher Price.  Gift number two in our Mindless Ode . . .

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Merry 4ft. Christmas!!

I was terrified of putting up a tree this year.  Who cares the tree was cut from it's roots, stuck in water to prolong it's pending death and then subjected to embarrassing forms of holiday fashion--I was more worried about the wee ones terrorizing it mercilessly (Mommy's collection of Crate & Barrel clearance ornaments are irreplaceable, as in she'd never be able to buy them for that cheap again--EVER!).

My friends suggested putting a baby gate around the tree to deter the twins--too bad I sold it this past fall at the Twin Moms' Thrift Sale.  Actually, I sold it because the little Einsteins' knew how to open it.

Nonetheless, we purchased and decorated our tree last weekend.  Good news:  it's still standing--even after numerous attempts to yank the strands of lights, pull down any ornament within a 4 ft. clearance and rip open two wrapped presents.

The novelty finally wore off a few days ago and these monsters-disguised-as-angels seem uninterested in our twinkling new home accessory . . . for now.

The half decorated tree.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where Do Llamas Poop?

Apparently in the middle of the street during a parade.  
But more importantly, how do you clean up after a Llama poops in the street?

  By sweeping it to the sidewalk . . . right next to where you are sitting.

We watched our first Holiday parade with the babies this past weekend.  It was insanely cold, but with the proper gear--super duper new winter coats for the twins, we had a blast!

The parade didn't start till 7:30p, prime time for putting two toddlers to bed for the night--but it was a Friday night so we made an exception.  The best part about this parade:  free candy, tooth brushes (thanks to a very practical dentist) and one cute stuffed Santa from some anonymous float.  These items, I'm told, are crucial to the success of any reputable parade.

We loved this particular float by Autumn Care, an assisted living facility; mainly because they were grooving to 'Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer' the entire time.