gift guides 2017: mens

For the dudes!mens gift guide

    1. Pickleball. My man is obsessed and so are all his friends. It’s not as tricky or tough on your body as tennis, but is as fast paced and fun! Something I can see us playing as as couple until we’re old! We are planning on putting a court at the new house (its a LOT smaller!) Don’t bother with wood paddles, get the graphite or carbon fiber!
    2. And you’ll need balls. Of course.
    3. HanSwipe. I love stuff like this – quickly clean your screen without damage. I want one myself.
    4. A nice retro windbreaker. 
    5. Our friend Davis was wearing this cologne on a double date last week and it stopped me in my tracks. Sorry for sniffing you all night Davis.
    6. If you can’t commit to one scent try this discovery set from Le Labo. Find your fave and then invest!
    7. Dip Clip – this thing is killing it on Kickstarter and for good reason. Slides onto your vent and holds your dip. Great for the man on the go. I know mine needs this!
    8. Loopy Case. If you’re new here I am their longest-time user ever. Pretty sure.
    9. I love the Mentionables business idea. It’s a lingerie shop but it’s not modeled – just on mannequins – so your man doesn’t need to feel like a creep shopping for you. Get him a gift card and let him pick, could be fun right? I debated on which gift guide to put Mentionables, but I think men appreciate it the most. Ha!
    10. I asked Russ what tool set is best and he said stick to Crafstman because it’s guaranteed for life! A good starter set that he’ll be stoked about!
    11. The best gift I gave my husband was a good night’s rest. Intellibed is our mattress and its $1500 off right now! A splurge for sure, but its guaranteed for 30 years and we had been buying new mattresses every few years so I think it pays for itself!
    12. Another suggestion from Russ which I had never heard of. This compact gadget will jump your car without having another car present! Leave it in the trunk for a rainy day! Also its 70% off and a limited Amazon deal, so HURRY!



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nativity ideas!

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! Modern NativityThey 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!Nativity Puppet

Cambodian – Paper // Peruvian – Wood // Painted Bottom Nativity // Pastel and Gold // Modern Ceramic Nativity with gold // Lucite Nativity // Metal Luminaries (pictured above!) // Ireland – Resin // Shiny Metal Nativity // Flat Steel Nativity // Shadow Puppets Nativity // Finger Puppets // 4″ Nativity // Olive Wood Nativity // Pillars of Heaven Wood Nativity // Willow Tree Nativity

And don’t forget the lego set!

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.Modern Nativity Ideas

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!!Modern Nativity Ideas

Sponsored by Deseret Book.

Coco at Kohl’s

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.Coco x Kohls 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. Coco x Kohls

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

My favorite t-shirt from the line! // A cool guitar hoodie // Love these leggings with the cempoalxochitl flower // Pretty dress for women! // Coco x Kohls

Sponsored by Kohl’s new Coco line – find it all here!

how to decorate a charlie brown tree

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 1 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. Charlie Brown TreeI 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?How to Decorate a Charlie Brown Christmas TreeOf course all the decorations can be found at Pier 1 either online or at a store near you!

  1. 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. How to Decorate a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
  2. 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:How to Decorate a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
  3. 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!How to Decorate a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
  4. 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! How to Decorate a Charlie Brown Christmas TreeI chose this set of metallic and glitter ornaments, these amazingly beautiful glass drop ornaments (everyone’s favorite)…How to Decorate a Charlie Brown Christmas TreeThen these oversized glitter stars (doubles as a tree topper, too!) and the sprays. They’re all metallic and varying in size for interest. How to Decorate a Charlie Brown Christmas TreeAnd then just having your themed ornaments out makes it easier to have your little ones helping!How to Decorate a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
  5. 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?