holiday gift guide: for the fam

You made it! The last gift guide of the season, are you relieved? Today it’s all about togetherness. Things you can do side by side, meaningful mementos, and ways to improve your life as a family.
holiday gift guide for the family1. We’re trying to play it cool about these Wanderlust City map play mats, but it’s not working. They’re so beautiful!! Perfect for floor playtime, or even as a wall hanging. Buy NYC or San Francisco here. [$84] via Shop Ellalou.]

2. A Year of Gratitude. This gorgeous box is filled with 52 thank you cards, one for each week of the year. We love this idea of continually focusing on who we’re grateful for and vocalizing it each week. You could decide your recipeients as a family, take turns, and discuss it all each week. Wouldn’t it make for the best family dinner conversation? And an absolute steal at [$30] Via Uncommon Goods. See their Gift Guide here.

3. Naturebox. Are we sounding like a broken record (this might be our third mention of them)? Naturebox’s monthly subscriptions are so helpful. With a new delicious and healthy set of snacks each month it opens our, and our kids, horizons and saves us in a pinch when we’re out and about. Sometimes it’s nice to not have to turn to the drive-thru! [19.95]

4. A blanket is the basis of so much family fun. A picnic, getting cozy on the couch, a blanket fort, peek-a-boo, a makeshift hammock, you really can’t have too many! This one’s from Target and comes in four different colors. [$19.99]

5. We think every family should have that “thing” they do together. A tradition that is just theirs. Whether it’s an old movie marathons, or karaoke, or milkshake Mondays, for instance. No time like the holidays to start a new tradition! This one works amazing, and has the perfect retro feel that makes it stay-on-the-counter-worthy. [$169] via Williams-Sonoma.

6. Cooking together is the perfect family activity, but if you can’t all be together, at least you can remember home while you’re in the kitchen! These AHeirloom State Cutting boards are so lovely, and would make a great gift for those far-away loved ones. [$48]

7. Last but not least, what is a better gift than a reminder of where you come from? These modern genealogy charts from I Chart You are not only stunning graphically, but represent generations of family all in one circle. Customizable from top to bottom and an absolute bargain at [$25]. This print would hang proudly in just about any room in your home.

The homes we grew up in seemed to always have one fun big gift for the family, we’re excited to carry that on. Do you do that as well? We’d love to hear your ideas! Any awesome family friendly gifts we missed?

Catch all our gift guides here.


$1 neighbor buddy gifts

kid neighbor gifts for a buck!This year we sort of fell hard for the idea of having gifts come from the boys whenever possible. To help keep them involved in the gift giving process, and hopefully remind them to think of others this season. We’ll have a few more posts talking about this goal, which is also this month’s Fiesta Movement theme of Social Activism! (Is it just too late, or is this agent pretty funny?) For today, we came up with three easy and inexpensive gifts (with printables!) that can they can gift their friends at school, neighbor friends, and whoever else strikes their fancy this month!

let it snow neighbor giftLet It Snow! Our local big box stores, like Wal-Mart or Target sell cold weather accessories for super cheap, but no one can beat the Dollar Store! Hats and gloves galore, for a buck each! Roll up a hat or put a bow on a pair of gloves and you’re all set!

holiday tic tac toe neighbor giftHoliday Tic Tac Toe! We used Dollar Store beaded garlands, all cut up as game pieces and put in a glassine bag. (Truth be told we had our hearts set on acorns, but turns out they’re harder to find then you think around here.)

new years eve neighbor giftNew Year’s Themed! If you’re like us and need a few more days than the Christmas delivery deadline allows, go for a New Year’s theme! Add a confetti popper, noisemaker, or party horn as seen here, the party horns all though festive, when given to a handful of boys at once, was regretted immediately. You’ve been warned!

kid neighbor gifts for a buck!This post is inspired by The Fiesta Movement! Their contribution to this month’s Social Activism Theme is coming up this Thursday December 12th. They are partnering with What’s Trending to host a star-studded party on YouTube from at 7 pm MST! The best part is every tweet written during that time using the #Tubeathon or #FiestaMovement, Ford will donate $1 to the Covenant House, which is a charity for homeless youth.


Hayes YPorque Gorilla Sweater and The Brand Denim Jeans.

DIY gifts for Miracle Children

Today we have a very special post dedicated to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Jenna’s sweetest baby cousin Brewer was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and spent a full month in a CMN Hospital. Here’s what she recalls about that time:

“I remember thinking, here is this cosmic event in our lives, that seemed to stop time, but these nurses see this or something similarly devastating everyday! Because of this I assumed that the staff would be hardened and disconnected to Brewer’s condition. It was so the opposite. They were Brewer’s biggest cheerleaders who triumphed at every success and who shed tears along with us at his set backs. The halls of this hospital represent such a wonderful community drawn together by one purpose, which is to cure children. I truly felt angels walk those halls all the time I spent there, it’s an amazing place!”

Primary Children's

It is almost heartbreaking to share, but did you know that a million children will spend this Christmas holiday in the hospital? Every single minute, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provides $6500 in care to those children – they call them all a “Miracle Child” – totaling $4.7 billion dollars since they founded in 1983. Most of those funds were raised just one dollar at a time. We are so lucky to have a CMN Hospital locally and any funds we donate will help children right in our own community.

In honor of CMN Hospitals and the wonderful work they do, we wanted to create a DIY for those Miracle Children! Those of you who have spent time in hospitals know that there are strict rules for the types of gifts you can bring inside, like no fresh flowers, no balloons, no stuffed animals,  etc. So, we wanted to come up with an inexpensive gift, made with love, to bring to those kids. Here’s what we came up with!

You can purchase a pretty great train set at Ikea for about $10, and then with a little trimming and craft foam you can make it extra special. Grabbing some mini trees, plastic animals, and these foam skylines and they can create a whole city scape!

handmade holiday gifts that are hospital approved

For the doll-lovers, we whipped up a foam “paper doll” set. Using a paper doll template, (this one is great) cut out your basic doll. Then add pieces of clothing, shoes, accessories and hair styles! We used a roll of double sided tape to hold the pieces on while playing.

handmade holiday gifts that are hospital approved

This post is brought to you by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. We’ll be back later this month with an update on a special project we collaborated on for our local CMN Hospital, in the meantime if you have any room in your holiday budget, donate $5 and give a miracle to a child in the hospital this Christmas! CMNH Logo

Holiday Felt-aments DIY

We’ve been loving these Maypole felt balls as a base to making minimalist decor for the holidays! We last used them for Halloween, here, and came up with a couple more to decorate the tree with!

First, tiny wreath ornaments!

diy felt ornaments

Here’s what you’ll do:

Thread a needle (the larger and thicker, the easier to go through the felt.) Then pull the needle through the center of each ball, we used six per ornament, finally connecting them and tying a knot on the other side. Grab a package of ornament hooks to hang them onto your tree, and you’re done! Easy enough.

felt ball christmas ornament wreaths

For the snowman:

felt ball snowmen christmas ornament

You could use the above threading technique or hot glue to secure three white felt balls on top of one another. If you’re threading, you can pull a loop through the top to hang, or if you glue, stick a ornament hook through the top. To give him the perfect snowman scarf we simply added a baker’s twine!

felt ball snowman christmas ornament

We like the threading technique because you can easily cut it and reuse the felt balls for a different project after the holidays. (Glue is definitely easier though.)


‘Tis the season for cold and flu, unfortunately. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile you know we like to do a mixture of traditional medicine and and natural and holistic when it comes to our health. When the kids are ill, sometimes it’s that helpless feeling that’s the worst part. We wish we could take it all away! Sometimes those extra things we can do to make them comfortable and to soothe, offer the most peace of mind. Leslie Burket, the founder, CEO and creator feels the same a way and created Lilapops to help soothe and treat her kids’ coughs naturally!

Lilapops | Small Fry


So what is in a Lilapop? First here’s what is not: dyes, artificial flavors, gluten or dairy. What is in them, the money ingredient, is Marshmallow Root. Not the squishy white stuff, but the natural root. It reduces swelling in the mucus membranes and respiratory tract, soothing that cough the natural way! And we’re certain you’re wondering, so let us assure you, they taste like candy! Our kids have loved them, and we’ve loved having another thing to offer them when they aren’t feeling so hot.

Lilapops | Small Fry

Buy Lilapops online here, or check out where you can find them in a store near you!