Here is Round 2 Luxe edition of my gift guide. These I use when I want to wrap something special for someone who will really appreciate it. The marbled papers I save for small packages to make it go farther and use the cheaper paper on the big boxes. I even tried my hand at using some watercolored paper for wrapping. (I love how it turned out.) This year I love pops of fluorescent because they feel fun and fancy. Sources and links below.

A. PAPER: Silver Ikea Wrapping Paper $2/roll
A. RIBBON: Hot Pink double faced Satin Ribbon from Fantasticos $3.90/25 yards

B. PAPER: Copper Textured Wrapping Paper from The Container Store
B. RIBBON: Gold Ribbon from Castle in the Air

C. PAPER: Marbled Paper $9/Roll
C. RIBBON: Wired Ribbon from Paper Mart $3.50/50 yards

D. PAPER: Water Colored Paper (I made myself!)
D. RIBBON: Silver Ribbon from The Ribbonrie

E. PAPER: Fluorescent Green Tissue Paper from Fantasticos $1
E. RIBBON: Chartreuse Ribbon from Paper Source

F. PAPER: Marbled Paper from Paper Mojo $15/sheet
F. RIBBON: Magenta Single face Stain Ribbon from Paper Mart $3/100 yards

G. PAPER: Coppery Brown Paper from Ikea (last year)
G. RIBBON: Chocolate Double Face Satin from Paper Mart $8.80/50 yards

H. PAPER: Japanese Folded Box from Tail of the Yak $3
H. RIBBON: Green Double Face Satin from Paper Mart $8.80/50 yards


I love wrapping presents almost more than the actual presents. I’ve put together a series of wrapping guides where I share my favorite sources. For the most part I try to use cheap wrapping paper and ribbon and then fill it in with the occasional special materials. (I wish I could wrap every box in $5/yard ribbon but it gets cost prohibitive.) This is all stuff I have in my wrapping supplies I’ve linked to it where available. The Paper Mart Ribbon is my favorite just because it is really affordable.

A. PAPER: Ikea Red Stripe Wrapping Paper $2/roll
A. RIBBON: Paper Mart single faced Satin Ribbon $2.50/100 yards

B. PAPER: Soft Green Polka Dot Wrapping Paper by American Crafts
B. RIBBON: Lime Green Grosgrain from The Ribbonerie

C. PAPER: Ikea Red Wrapping Paper $1/Roll
C. RIBBON: Paper Mart Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon $3.50/50 yards

D. PAPER: Ikea Red Polka Dot Wrapping Paper $2/roll
D. RIBBON: Paper Mart Red Grosgrain Ribbon $4.70/50 yards

E. PAPER: Ikea Red Wrapping Paper $1/Roll
E. RIBBON: Paper Mart Striped Ribbon $4.44/25 yards

F. PAPER: Green Ikea Wrapping Paper (from last year)
F. RIBBON: Dark Green Grosgrain from The Ribbonerie

G. PAPER: Navy Blue Kraft Box from The Packaging Store
G. RIBBON: Red Striped Ribbon from The Ribbonerie

H. PAPER: Ikea Navy Stripe Wrapping Paper $2/roll
H. RIBBON: Dark Green Two Tone Ribbon from The Ribbonerie

I. PAPER: Polka Dot Paper from Paper Source (not currently on website)
I. RIBBON: White wired ribbon from Paper Mart $4.23/25 yards

J. PAPER: Red Kraft Box from The Packaging Store
J. RIBBON: Detailed Red/White Ribbon from The Ribbonerie

Paris Guide

Another email I get a lot is for the Paris Guide from our Honeymoon. Paul’s coworker lived there for several years and gave us this list just before we left. We had an amazing trip and everyone we give this to comes back raving about this guide. I like it because it has things that aren’t in the guidebooks. We spent time everyday picnicking on the Seine. It was perfect. Go here to see it all.

Stocking Stuffers for Dudes

I hate when Stocking stuffers become an after thought (guilty!) Here are some ideas if you need some. All of these I kept under $30.

1. Tabletop Ping Pong set. Turns a normal table into a ping pong table.
2. Chocolate Pie Chart $20. Only thing better than candy is clever candy.
3. Headlamp $29. Nothing makes a dude feel more manly than gear.
4. Holga $27. Fun toy camera and you can’t beat the price.
5. Rubik’s Cube $14. So classic and perfect for your desk.
6. NPR Map $7. Wherever you are you’ll know the local NPR station.
7. Paper Hot Air Balloon $26. Fun thing to play with.
8. Travel Guide $12. To somewhere they’d like to go. (It makes me feel like its one step closer to traveling there.)
9. Personalized Pencils $9. Make them say something funny or clever.
10. Nice Parking Cards $15. Snarky little cards when someone does a bad parking job.
11. Subscription to Wired $10. This is Paul’s favorite magazine.
12. Kiehl’s Moisturizer $29. Paul doesn’t spend a lot on products so I like to splurge and get him something good once in a while.
13.Threadless Tee $12. Lots of t-shirts to choose from.


I’ve spent a lot of time researching toys for Moses’ play area. Some of these I had already bought and then I justified the rest by counting them as Birthday and Christmas presents. I also had a decent amount of success finding some of them used on Craigslist. My goal was to buy really quality toys that could either entertain him or help him learn. It was also important to me that everything have a place so it would be organized and easier for him to clean up (instead of a giant toy bin) and in theory he would play with them more. So far we are very happy with the new play area–everything has been played with exhaustively and stayed pretty organized and clean. Here is some of what we ended up with.

1. Schleich Dinosaur Collection
Schleich is a German company that makes really beautiful animal reproductions. We started a dinosaur collection. (Someday I’ll do an animal collection to but this is a good start.) You can get them online or Target has a pretty good selection. We keep them in a clear plastic bin with a lid.

2. Puzzles
I like a lot of different wooden puzzles but I really love the Kid O Puzzles because they are so beautiful. Luckily Moses does too (proved by the hours he can sit being entertained by them). I also bought this puzzle holder
to keep all of them organized so they would have a place.

3. Musical Instruments
I brought a mini guitar home from Mexico for Moses and he became obsessed with it (always dragging it around the house with him). So I added to his musical instrument collection with a xylophone, a drum, and an accordion.

4. Ikea Train Set
Best $20 I’ve ever spent. This keeps him so happy and busy. This get stored in a clear plastic bin.

5. Stacking and Shapes
There are lots of toys to choose from in this category. We chose this, this, this, and this. We store these on an open shelf.

6. Blocks
Moses loves building blocks. I already blogged about these colored blocks but we also have a collection of vintage blocks I bought years ago, he still loves those too.

7. Play Food

8. Play-doh
I love it when my kids play with some of the same toys I played with when I was little. If I was ambitious I would have made it all myself.

9. Art Materials
This includes an Ikea easel and various things to paint and draw. (This is one of the toys we are saving for Christmas.)

10. Cars and Trucks
We have quite a large collection of these little wooden cars and trucks They run so smooth.