guides

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.

Toys

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.

Valentines Day Idea 6: Special Surprise

My friend Aubrey Trinnaman told me about this GENIUS idea and I’m so excited that she decided to do it. Basically the premise is this. Send her $35 on Paypal and tell her the name of your Valentine and short (optional) message and she will create an original custom Valentine for them. She is on my list of the top 5 talented people I know so you can guarantee it will be amazing. She made a few samples {even one for me!} to get the idea. There is only a limited number of them so order now before they are all filled up. Go here to purchase. The best part is that you’ll have an original piece of art that you can frame for your house–quite a steal for $35.

Valentines Day Idea 5: I Like You

If you aren’t familiar with this book you should buy yourself a copy immediately. I usually have a few around to give as gifts. {At $5 it is the perfect price point for a small but thoughtful gesture.} The book is very silly and has darling drawings. I gave this to Paul on our first Valentines Day together.

Valentines Day Idea 4: A tiny love letter

What is better than a love letter on Valentines Day? A tiny love letter. It still isn’t too late to send one to your lover. The World’s Smallest Postal Service is a teeny tiny transcription service–Lea Redmond will transcribe your letter and send it with a tiny magnifying glass for only $8. I met Lea at her booth at the Readymade Holiday Fair and the letters might be the most darling thing ever.