gift guides: land of nod!

No secret here how much we love Land of Nod year ’round, but especially for the Holidays! We look forward to their Holiday catalog each year and seeing the wonderful, whimsical collections. We wanted to share a few of our own collections of things that caught our eye this year!

Our boys love to pretend to “camp-out” any chance they get with sheet forts and binoculars. Any of these gifts would ramp up their playtime or add a touch of that old time camp feeling to their play guide for the camp enthusiast

Sleeping bag in the perfect plaid and retro camp pattern // Pennant Flag decor // Plush canoe perfect for reading books or navigating the rapids // Themed Christmas stockings (20% off!) // Curious little raccoon pillow // Retro Camp Blanket // Felt USA road trip map with awesome landmark appliqués // Campfire plush toys // Geometric play tent that fits all their friends!

Next up, 2/3rds of us live in cold climates during the Holidays and as excited as our kids get over a new bike, unfortunately they can’t ride it for a bit until the snow melts! So, here’s our favorite gifts to help them (and you!) pass the time indoors, no batteries or wi-fi required!inside

We love this cart, besides imaginative play it also encourages fun clean-up after the kids just wheel the cart around as they pick up their toys! // Nod has the best collection of plush and realistic kitchen goods, hands down. // This door jam bag toss game is amazing! Helps fine tune their hand-eye coordination and keeps them from throwing things at their sibling. // We’ve had this magnetic faces game for years and it is still a hit! Great for road-trips, church and quiet time. // Croquet is the cutest and this mini set is great for carpet or grass! // If you need a gift that keeps on giving, this is it! We love that it has everything you’d need for a creative craft project and the possibilities are endless. // Has there ever been a cooler electric guitar? A great starter too! // For new readers this Spinny Speller is a great little stocking stuffer. // A perfect little collection of instruments for your family band.

Shop Land of Nod here!

2014 christmas cards

Photos by Lindsey Orton.

The Holiday greeting card exchange is one of our favorite parts of the season and we love sharing them with you here! This year we teamed up with Pinhole Press and after several years of designing our own cards – click here for 2012 and 2013 – we have to say, we really loved this super simple process! Jenna took a break this year as she prepares for her new arrival, but Nicole and Emily are sharing theirs after the jump if you’d like to see!Pinhole Press Holiday Card

Pinhole Press makes it incredibly easy with minimal, well-designed templates to start. There are options for adding one photo or many, and they have a live chat option available so if you want to change fonts, colors, formats, they can basically do it for you on the spot. We were so pleased with the quality weighted papers used in both the cards and even down to the envelopes. Everything feels so high quality!

Continue reading 2014 christmas cards

nutcracker garland

We are a little bit smitten with Ikea’s Holiday line this year. So many awesome graphic elements and as always they think of every detail. We likely went way overboard this year, and even though it’s a little late in the game, wanted to share how we’re using them in our decor! Using, or reusing, in this case. One giant nutcracker gift bag transformed into a giant nutcracker garland!Nutcracker Garland

First you’ll need a few of the aforementioned bags. They’re double-sided so you can get two out of each bag.
Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 8.24.22 PM

Then cut the nutcrackers and attach them to the twine or string of your choice:

Nutcracker Garland

If you truly want to maximize your gift bag purchase, you can also cut out the little nutcrackers on the sides of the bag for a mini version.Nutcracker Garland

If you need more inspiration to deck your halls for a party or the big day next week (ack!) check out our Holiday Pin board. So much talent from all over the web!

cheer package

We had so much fun this Holiday getting these gift-giving challenges! Today we teamed up with HomeGoods to create a gift package and here’s what we picked.

Start with a gorgeous gold wire basket:

Teacher Gift

Fill it with cozy necessities like a blanket, cocoa, popcorn, gold handled mugs, and gold baubles for their tree.

Cozy Christmas Cheer Package

We sent this package with Quinn to his teacher, but could have easily gifted this to any of our wonderful support systems. Friends, sisters, neighbors.

Teacher Gift

We love gifting in reusable storage like this basket, or a vase, or pottery. Even after all the goodies are gone, you still have an awesome piece for your house!

Teacher Gift

The best (or maybe worst, depending on your wallet) part is that we could’ve filled multiple baskets, HomeGoods has so many darling options! Check our Instagram and their #HomeGoodsHappy hash tag for some more ways we’ve been styling finds into our homes!

Quinn’s pajamas via Skylar Luna.

nativity puppets

The Nativity is for sure the most loved (and touched) element to our holiday decor each year. We’ve found poor baby Jesus in some pretty precarious places. As much as we love having beautiful set, we always find ourselves needing something more durable that the kids can love on. Here’s this year’s, Popsicle Stick Puppets!
Nativity Puppets Start with tongue-depressor size popsicle sticks. You can get these at the grocery store — no need for an extra craft store trip! Our boys are on the younger side so we had them paint the majority of the stick and then we finished off the details: presents for the three wise men, a shepherd hook, a halo for the angel, a belt for Mary and a beard for Joseph. Nativity Puppets These details not only make them cuter, but it makes teaching the story — and asking questions — that much easier. Nativity Puppets

It has been such a loved set that it literally goes everywhere. We stuck a little washi tape manger up on the window (with a star too) to keep the story rolling.Nativity Puppets With multiple stick characters this is a great activity for siblings in the back seat. The conversations are entertaining to say the least!Nativity Puppets This quick little craft has proven to be a tender and sweet opportunity to teach more about the origins of Christmas. We’ve been watching this quick film (find it on our sidebar, too!) with them and the craft made it easy to remind our kids how loved they are, and that they can be good and important to the world, no matter their circumstances.

Here’s a few kid friendly nativity sets we found around the web if you’re looking!

kid friendly nativity

Left to Right: 1. These wood pyramid nativities are so gorgeous! Solid wood and they come in lots of different varieties. // 2. Melissa and Doug pulls through for a sturdy, detailed set.  // 3. This modern Alessi sculpture makes us smile. It’s so happy and bright! // 4. This peg doll set is so gorgeous in person. The round animals are so darling, too! // 5. This hand-drawn wood block set is perfect for young kids. // 6. A handmade felt set that are soft enough to sleep with, since we know someone’s going to ask. // 7. A giant bamboo set that the whole family can get a piece of.

christmas tree cones

Do you all tackle the gingerbread house each holiday? We’ve found that with small kids that can be quite the undertaking. So we wanted to simplify the experience without losing what is so fun about it – the candy decorating of course. Enter Waffle Cone Christmas Trees! This is a great addition to a gingerbread house making party, or a standalone project.

Here’s what we used:Christmas Tree Waffle Cones

Colorful candies, sprinkles, pearls and colored sugar flakes for decorating. Waffle ice cream cones for the trees, and store bought frosting (right from the can!) to bring them all together. Also, for crafting like this or any baking we do, you gotta have a Wilton cake spatula. You have so much more control than using a knife or regular spatula and it makes frosting a dream.

Christmas Tree Waffle Cones

Here are four we whipped up. Of course when we remake these with the kids in tow they’ll be much more… colorful. So for your viewing enjoyment:

Christmas Tree Waffle Cones


If you notice the far left tree with the green sprinkles, this little whipping action was done with Wilton! Simply pull the frosting upward and it takes that snowy tree look. If you make these with your kids tag us #SmallFryDIY!

advents to buy

We’re confident that one of these years we’ll have the ambition (or time!) to create our own  advent DIY, but that year is not this year. We can’t just give up on it though, with a band of enthusiastic boys so excited for the Holidays, the countdown is an absolute necessity. Them having a little bit of control and visual evidence that Christmas will actually come saves us a lot of headache! For those of you in our moderately stressed-out boat, here’s 10 advents you can buy and one super easy short-cut to help you finish it with two clicks of the mouse.10 Advents to Buy


Little Bags // Metallic Mixed Shapes // Metal 3D Stars // Painted Holiday Scene Box // In the Woods // Vintage House Kit // Black and White Hanger // Hand Illustrated Hanger // Plain Drawers (in case you want to get a little crafty!) // Triangle Tree with Drawers //

For that super easy short-cut we mentioned above, we are slow clapping for Land of Nod’s Countdown Calendar Stuffer kit! It comes with 25 fun little toys that fit in most advent calendars and make an advent a breeze!

Land Of Nod Calendar Stuffer

Shop the calendars below!

From Land of Nod, West Elm, Target, Amazon, Kid Craft, Ferm Living, Pottery Barn and more. We hope this helps you check one extra thing off your list this Holiday!

Holiday Gift Guide: dollhouse

We get asked most often when it comes to gift giving, where to find the best doll houses! Here are our favorites, the top rated and best reviewed, as well as best looking. If you’re making the doll house purchase this holiday you can’t go wrong with any of these!



1. Hayneedle’s classic dollhouse is such a refreshing site in a sea of hot ink plastic!

2. You really can’t go wrong with anything from Melissa & Doug, but this dollhouse
is definitely a favorite. We love that there are so many options and accessories to add-on and it’s always well designed and modern. Also, when you’re in a crunch, that Prime option is heaven-sent!

3. This dollhouse is a fun hands-on experience from Denmark! You put it together, add stickers and furniture from the kit and it really is your child’s creative control.

4. This one is a stunner! It’s got a great width to it, which is great for playing with friends or siblings, sometimes the high-rise style houses means there’s not a lot of room to play side-by-side, we love that this one is wide enough to allow for a few friends. Via Land of Nod.

5. You guys know how much we love cardboard, and this play house isn’t just for dolls, everyone can use it! We love that it comes all white so you can have that crisp clean look, or let your kids go wild and paint, draw, sticker the heck out of it! The whole Calafant line is so cool!

6. Plan Toys is another no-fail brand in style and construction. The size is smaller than most other toys, but honestly, we don’t care! Their Plan Toys City (fire station, airport, gas station, modern house, the list goes on!) is so flawless and would be such a great collection. Who needs Barbies?

7. This sugary sweet doll house is every little girls dream. We love that you can personalize it and that it is so beautiful from the outside in so it looks great on display, too!

8. Everytime we go through Ikea we die over their doll furniture set. Tiny replicas of their favorite items, all brightly colored and darling.

9. This one is the big mama house with a small price tag. It’s four stories, has six rooms, a patio swing and so much more! We sort of want to get lost in this house.

Which is your favorite?

FRYday : Nicole

Hi! Happy Holidays guys!

Last week I was traveling and happened upon a darling little kids boutique in San Clemente called Red Balloon. There I spotted some darling red pajamas for the boys. I hadn’t started thinking about Christmas shopping yet, I typically wait until after Thanksgiving, just to make things easier on myself (wink). But this sparked my FRYday inspiration. CHRISTMAS PAJAMAS! In my home, we grew up opening one gift on Christmas Eve. Year after year it was the same gift, a new set of pajamas. This gift seems to be the clearest memory I have out of all the gifts any of my siblings and I received each year. I can think back through the years and tell you what pajamas we got. It is such a cherished memory of mine, I knew as Dash’s first Christmas approached, that I wanted to incorporate this tradition into my family. I want to do an entire round up of all the darling Christmas pajamas on the web, but, for today, I wanted to share what I’ve decided on for this year. Sometimes each cf ours are found at different shops. This year, it’s a one stop shop for everyone!!Christmas Pjs
For the papa: Navy and Red dot set
For the mama: Red striped set
For the little guys: Glow in the Dark Light Strand
More for the Littles: Red Union Suit
For the tiny girls: Gold Foil Trees
For their feet: Lodge Moccasins
Enjoy your FRYday!

holiday gift guide: for baby

Happy Monday and happy gift guides continue! Next up is for the littlest lady or lad in your life. Although babies are probably just as thrilled to play with the discarded wrapping paper as anything, we love shopping for them all the same!
holiday gift guide for baby

1. Brimful is a new-to-use shop for babies that we can’t get enough of! So many beautiful things to choose from. This hedgehog rattle is no exception.

2. When a baby first discovers their mobile it is a truly magical experience. Legs kicking, arms flapping, and coos for miles. Petit Collage does simple modern mobiles so right!

3. Nothing is as sweet as a babe and their favorite plush toy. Finding something for them to sleep with, tote around, and love to death is such a fun quest! We’re sure this Emiko whale would make many little ones a perfect mate.

4. Playmats are a worth investment for tummy-time, and when you need a little shower break, showering, eating, etc. etc. This plush mat from Pottery Barn is so soft and has so much for them to do!

5. We love this graphic pillow for any nursery!

6. As baby gets more dextrous they will be putting everything in their mouth. This set of blocks is totally safe and will grow with them into their toddler years for building.

7. This simple play gym is a great addition to the plush play mat and we love that you can interchange the toys to keep things interesting.

 8. This shop is local and a fan favorite to all mamas, the blankets are the softest knit and huge! Nothing is worse than getting blanket that barely swaddles your infant, this one is such a great size and will grow with you for years.
9. Walnut Animal Society plush toys are so sweet, hand embroidered and gorgeous. We had a hard time choosing just one to share. Eleanor the Bear won our hearts, but see the rest here!