I went to a Holiday Preview for Deseret Book about a month ago and one of my key takeaways was their amazing variety of nativities! They have them from all over the world, in all price ranges, materials, styles, I was so impressed. Of course you can buy them all online or go into their stores to see them up close, too. Rounding up my favorites and couple other finds from around the web today!
We have the Shadow Puppet Nativity and it really is so sweet. I love that its interactive and the boys bring them to bed and play while they’re falling asleep. They also have Star Wars and several other themed packs! So cute.
Also note: When I wrote this post the Lucite Nativity was still in stock. I was a lucky one to snag it! I think she’s since sold out but follow her on Instagram @sonorahandmade and I heard she’s making tons more for next year. My appologies!!
Kohl’s sent us to see the new Disney•Pixar movie Coco as they are carrying a whole line for all ages with Coco merchandise and other Coco inspired pieces in their stores! Then boys got to pick out a t-shirt for the showing and I had heard such good things about this movie so I was pretty excited myself. I bawled several times. At one point tears were just streaming down my face and it was starting to sound like sobs. Coco is SO good. One of Pixar’s bests for sure. They captured the vibrancy of Dia de los Muertos and so many of the aspects of Mexican culture that we admire! We also learned so much about Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead – making sure your loved ones are on the ofrenda so they can pass back over to visit you. The cempoalxochitl flower being the passageway, the way to give their blessing. I love it all!
If you haven’t seen it the movie is all about remembering our loved ones that have passed, our heritage, the things that make our families what and who they are. Those pieces of us that are in our blood and how they came to be. It is also about sacrifice, forgiveness, hard-work, family above all else. There was a moment when Miguel yells to a family member “I’m proud to be your family!” and they yell it back, “I’m proud to be YOUR family.” That’s when I lost it. I watched my boys’ faces light up from the screen enjoying the movie and thought about all the proud moments I have had as their mother. So many. I hoped that they would be proud of me, too. That they would feel belonging and pride in being a Frame. Being the sons of Russ and Emily. Being one another’s brothers.
Music is a huge part of the storyline and of course the soundtrack is so fun! I come from a musical family on both sides but especially my dad’s. His grandpa Kenner Casteel Kartchner was a fiddler (and also a town drunk, but hey!) and a love for music runs deep. My Great Aunt Merle would have us over on Christmas and we’d listen to violins and fiddles and piano and guitar and sing together and it is one of my happiest childhood memories. I know KC wrestled hard with his love of music and wanting to share it with the world while also being a good dad. I think we all have that thing that we want to share with the world but we have to make the choice everyday, where our heart goes and when it stays at home.
Anyway, just had to jot some of my thoughts down and here are some of pieces I am digging from Kohl’s Coco line! Hayes’ Shirt // Cal’s Shirt
This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are my own.
So a little backstory for you guys, we have a lot of stuff in storage (storage = our shipping container up at the lot where we’re building our house) and that included all our Christmas decor. Since we moved those items up there we had ALL our tile delivered and stored in that shipping container, too. Like 5,000 square feet worth. SO! I asked Russ if we could get to those boxes and he laughed in my face, so I knew we’d have to improvise this year on all our decor!
So you can imagine how grateful I was to team up with Pier One on our Christmas tree this year! They have decorations that represent trends and styles from all around the world and I knew I’d be able to create the perfect unique tree that represents my personal style! Now, onto the post!
I love a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. A little quirky, sparse, worse for the wear even. I am always drawn to those trees when we pick one out and I have learned over the years that there are different criteria for decorating a Charlie Brown tree than a typical full artificial tree or like a Douglas Fir. So I am sharing my tips today and you can peek at our tree while you’re at it!
Another sidenote: This tree is actually potted! It’s in dirt and we will be planting it at the house when Christmas is over! I loved the idea of getting some landscaping out of the deal and so that is why it’s in this huge basket! Inside it’s on a tray and I water the tray and let it seep up the roots. I also put it on a coffee table to try and keep it out of Raleigh’s reach, let’s see how that’s going shall we?Of course all the decorations can be found at Pier 1 either online or at a store near you!
LIGHTS – You will find that you can’t just wrap the tree in concentric circles like you would with a regular tree. There isn’t as much to light, and the wires will be EVERYWHERE. I like to follow the branches up and down and let them lead me to the next branch so I can hide the wires as much as possible.
THIN WIRE LIGHTS – I have been wanting to try these tiny wire lights because the one downside to the Charlie Brown tree is that it’s really hard to hide wires. These thin bendable wire lights are so sleek and easy to hide and be a bit more precise where you want the tiny bulbs to land. I totally recommend it for your next tree if you like the more bare ones! They’re 10 feet long so you will need quite a few more than a strand of regular lights. Worth it though! You can see how fine the wire is in this photo:
TREE PICKS – Even though I really like seeing the trunk and sparse spots, sprays can fill in holes or balance out some of the unevenness. I love these retro feeling sprays, they reflect light all over the place and are so beautiful!
THEME – I love picking a theme no matter what kind of tree I pick but I think a tight theme is especially nice for a tree like this. It can be easy to overpower and over decorate so keep it a little more simple! I chose this set of metallic and glitter ornaments, these amazingly beautiful glass drop ornaments (everyone’s favorite)…Then these oversized glitter stars (doubles as a tree topper, too!) and the sprays. They’re all metallic and varying in size for interest. And then just having your themed ornaments out makes it easier to have your little ones helping!
WRAPPING – I also pick a tight theme for wrapping. This year I have kraft paper, a dramatic dark plaid and they’re all tied together with black twill ribbon. I think the less going on the more focus on your special tree!
Any other Charlie Brown lovers out there? What are your decorating tips?
Back with gift guides today – and this time for boys and girls! I teamed up with Globber on a fun giveaway on Instagram so don’t miss that, too!
Playpa is essentially giant coloring pages that you can play on and interact with after you’re done coloring! Getting two indoor quiet activities out of one $20 gift is what I call a good idea. Especially during the long Winter break!
My sister gifted this idea to my nieces and my boys flipped over it too. I watched them all sprawled over my floor making t-shirts together and it was so sweet. They even decided to all wear them to school the next day. You just need a few plain shirts and …
Fabric Markers! These Yoobi ones could be the start of endless DIY crafts. Another Winter Break win.
If I know kids, I know they flip over tiny things. This set from Yoobi is all miniaturized and darling. Watch them squeal, guaranteed.
This is a new-to-me brand and a welcome guest. I went through several grocery store detangles and they all left this greasy film on my boys’ hair. Needing another bath to look clean. Oof. This stuff works great – I use it and am obsessed with how soft my hair feels, smells great, but doesn’t leave any of that residue. Stocking stuffer! Shiny Happy.
Globber is sponsoring the giveaway on instagram today and they are a much less expensive balancing scooter option than the brands we’ve always used. Like half the price. But the kicker is they work the same. So be smarter than me and go with Globber off the bat this year! Or better yet, win two here!
So many dollhouse options out there but I know when you have a certain aesthetic you like it can be hard to shop for. I think this one would fit a lot of yours out there! So pretty.
I’ve been on a big kick this year with promoting products I wish I had as a girl. Having a library of stories of women who dared to try something new, went against the grain, paved the way. I want those stories on my shelves! Women In Science book.
Bravery Mag. See #10, too. This magazine is FILLED with activities, stories, darling design and Brave women. YES!
What are you getting your girls this year?
Another awesome idea from my sister! She gifted the boys their Christmas when she came for Thanksgiving and I had forgotten about these cash boxes! I had one as a kid and LOVED it. My boys are equally obsessed and love having their own key and spot for treasures no one else can get to.
Who has a lego obsessed boy or girl? This book is so fun to flip through!
Morphonauts was a Kickstarter awhile back that we got to try out. It’s all magnetized and interchangeable so you can be as imaginative as you want! I also love that its quiet. You can’t her them snapping together which is a huge win for church.
Always love to give a puzzle and this one is large but also seems a little easier with all the variety and branding.
Give a gift of music with this Cedar Thumb Piano! Its going to have a resurgence I am predicting!
Driven by Battat makes all the most realistic big trucks which have bene my boys’ dream at one point or another their whole lives. They also sell pocket size too!
I think Petit Collage has made our gift guides since the beginning of time. Lorena is so talented at creating toys kids like with designs parents like too. This Pop-out Space set for example.
Another Globber option. They have scooters for babies on up to adults. Hayes wanted a more grown up scooter – I guess most of his friends ride on this type of scooter so I am excited to surprise him with this one!
I would be remiss to not include Plants vs Zombies on this list because my boys are obsessed. I don’t know how they discovered it (blame YouTube, surely) but if you are looking for your own kids Amazon has the best collection I’ve found. I like that I can buy the figures in K’Nex sets so it’s a little more substantial then handing over a figure by itself.
It’s hard for me to buy video games because I hate them. It doesn’t change that those characters are what my boys are into so I love finding non video game options that they’ll still be excited about – even if its just Mario’s photo on the box. They play this Monopoly Gamer at their friends house every time they go over so its high time to grab one for here!
Tabletop Cornhole! Inside fun is a huge theme this year, can you tell? #noyardproblems
Star Wars is all anyone talks about when I go into my boys’ classes. This Darth Vader backpack is “sick!” as they say and 40% off today!Happy shopping!!