Thursday, November 28, 2019

Christmas Books We Love

If you haven't figured it out yet, we love books, and we love holidays! So it's no surprise how much we love holiday themed books!  For Christmas we place a stack of Christmas themed books under the tree and read a few a day.
There are so many good books to choose from. Let's start with the ones the boys really love -  Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas,  Cookiesaurus Rex, Dino-Christmas, Construction Site on Christmas Night, Dear Santasauras, Little Blue Truck Christmas, Pirates Night Before Christmas, to name a few.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Olivia Claus, Who Makes the Snow, Olive, the Other Reindeer
And since we live in Idaho, we have to throw this one in there - it's really fun!
I Saw Santa In Idaho
I know, it's a lot of books, but if I had to pick a top 5 it would be:

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest

I love Cranberry Sauce! It's tart, tangy, and the perfect thing to bring balance to an overly salty Thanksgiving meal.  And bonus, it's so easy to make!
The Deets
1 lb Fresh Cranberries
1/4 Cup Sugar (1/2 cup if you like them really sweet)
Zest from 2 Clementines
Juice from 2 Clementines
Pinch of Salt
Zest for garnish

The How To
Add sugar, zest, pinch of salt, and celementine juice to a sauce pan over low heat until it turns to a light syrup. About 3 minutes.

Rinse and add cranberries, stirring every few minutes. Cooking time depends on how smooth you like your cranberry sauce. I prefer mine more of a relish style with chunks.
Here's what it looks like about 5 minutes in.
And at 10 minutes. This is how I prefer mine - still chunky, but no intact cranberries. Top with additional orange zest for garnish.
It's the perfect easy side dish for your Thanksgiving meal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Wearable Gifts

photo credit Mon Petit Shoes

Need, Want, Read, Wear is a very popular gift philosophy in which a person only receives four gifts. While our family does a little more than four, we do hit those categories in our gifting. Here are a few of our favorite Wearable gifts.

First up shoes! I don't know what it is about shoes, but I love buying shoes, for myself, the kids, even Dr. Nick, shoes are just so fun to buy!

One our our favorite brands since 2012 is Freshly Picked, all of my babes have worn their soft soles and I was thrilled when they started making hard soles. The shoes are impeccably made and just so dang cute! My all time favorite pairs for girls are the Platinum & Ebony Mary Janes. For boys, I'm a sucker for the Cedar Oxfords, Blue Spruce Classic Moccasins, and Weathered Brown City Mocs.
Now Freshly Picked has expanded into amazing hards oles! We love them all, the Sandals, Slip ons,  Classic sneakers, Sneaker moccasins, and Chelsea booties are all amazing!  My 3 year old's favorite pairs are her Newport Clogs, and her Leopard slip-ons.
Freshly Picked's Amazing Black Friday Sale starts This Monday, November 25th at 10am MST. The entire site will be 30% off!!! If you Join the Fringe you will get an additional 20% off on top of that! What’s the Fringe? The Fringe is a membership program that gives you 20% off & free shipping on all your purchases! Your membership fee instantly turns to store credit! You can pay $120 up front so you have that in the bank to spend right away, or you can pay $10 a month, and keep the credits rolling in! Freshly Picked was awesome enough to give me a code FMOTiffanyG to give you $10 free credit when you join! Killer deals & an extra $10 credit! I've been a member of the Fringe since it started almost two years ago, and I love all the insider sales, early access to new releases. My favorite perk is Fringe Friday - a member's only sale almost every Friday, which usually includes $29 moccasins! You can check out my highlight bubble on Instagram for even more details on the Fringe.

Another brand we love is Mon Petit, an amazing small shop that makes incredible leather shoes. Our first pair were red T-Straps and they were gorgeous! Our current favorite are the Saddle Oxfords. But there are so many amazing options, and guess what? Their Black Friday Sale is happening right now! There is a huge selection of shoes 25-50% off! Here are a few of our favorites. 

I love the rainbow of colors Mon Petit comes up with, seriously such beautiful! If you're a print fan they have a ton of adorable prints as well. Check out this birthstone collection. And don't forget their sale is happening now through Sunday.
Mon Petit Birth Stone Collection 
Another of our favorite shoe brands is Plae Shoes. Plae are amazing, ergonomically correct, super stylish, and insanely durable shoes. My son, who destroys name brand athletic shoes in 2-3 months, has NEVER worn out a pair of Plae Shoes! The awesome team at Plae has given me a discount code for 10% off your order! Use Code TIIFFANYGRANT10 for 10% off your entire order.  Here are a few of our favorite Children's Plae shoes.
The Roan

The Charlie

The Max

The Ty
And, Plae makes adult shoes too! The Mulberry are my personal favorite. I have this pair, and I love them! They are so comfortable, while still being stylish, and are perfect for chasing the littles around. Don't forget to use code TIIFFANYGRANT10 for 10% off your entire order.  
Another Mom shoe I'm loving right now are Birdies! I bought a pair on a whim back in September and they are one of my most worn pair of shoes! I chose the Cheetah Print Starlings and oh my gosh! They are so insanely comfortable! And check out these other gorgeous colors!
Birdies Starling Loafers
Get $20 off your first pair of birdies by clicking here. And Birdies even has minis now, so you can get mommy & me matching shoes with your littles!

Clothes! I remember one year my little brother got a box of clothes as one of his Christmas gifts and said with zero enthusiasm "ohhh clothes", not all kids appreciate clothing, but it's a necessity, so you might as well make it fun. Thankfully my kids like clothes, and still let me have control over what they wear, for the most part.

My three year old is obsessed with party dresses! They are so fun to buy. Nordstrom is one of my favorite places to pick them up. Here are a few of our favorites from Mini Boden. Mini Boden is probably my favorite brand for all of my kids, they have the cutest styles and the quality is amazing.

My 7 year old has been bit by the athletic wear bug, he wants to wear tights with shorts & sports gear all the time! Amazon has an amazing selection of boys athletic wear.
And of course there are always new Jackets, Hats, and Mittens. We are big fans of Patagonia and North Face since they are warm, durable, and there are so many styles to choose from!

This time of year is great to pick up all the basics you need. A few of our other favorites, Tea Collection,  Hannah AnderssonGap, and  J Crew are all having amazing Black Friday sales too!

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Books Gift Guide

As Thomas Jefferson "I cannot live without books." I love books, and can for as long as I remember. I remember coming home from school grabbing a book and climbing our giant cottonwood tree, and nestling into the perfect branch to read. Dr. Nick likewise is a book lover, we have shelves and shelves of well worn books. So far our children have inherited our love of books. We gift our children books for every holiday. 
"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” Walt Disney. 
We gift our children books for every holiday. They love getting new books. We also hit the library weekly since I do not have the space or budget to stock an unlimited home library for them. My seven year old learned to read right before he turned four, and devours books, he loves picking a series and reading the entire collection, and of course reading anything that has to do with space! My girl is currently obsessed with Fancy Nancy, Lola Dutch, and any adventurous girl story. And baby O, he loves all the animal books. 

Let's kick off our most loved books, with books for babes & tots. One of our favorite authors is Sandra Boyton. Her books are so silly, they are sure to make everyone smile. These sets are great, there isn't a dud in any of the collections, if I have to choose I would say our two favorite individual books are Doggies and Moo, Baa, LaLaLa

We also love all of the JellyCat books, all the different textures, colors, and cute stories.

And a few of our favorite many great reads, seriously I could list hundreds of books we love! 

And my personal favorite, and the first book I read to each of my babies, Nancy Tillman's On the Night you were born. All of her books are beautifully illustrated, heartfelt, and for a very unsentimental gal like me, they really get ya, in the best way.

I know this isn't a board book - but all three of my littles have loved these JellyCat Tales books!

 Picture Books are my favorite books to buy. I love beautiful illustrations, and unique stories. Let's start with some of our favorite books for girls.

My hero growing up was Sandra Day O'Conner, first woman on the Supreme Court of the United States, I remember my dad teaching me about her, and telling me I was going to be like her someday. As a first generation college graduate, those words stuck, I may not ever be a Supreme like SDOC & my girl RBG, but at least I can say I've written a brief (2 to be exact) to the Supreme Court. I digress, this book is fantastic, and is the book we bought for our daughter for her first birthday. I have always been drawn to stories of strong, brave girls, the type that I was always encouraged to be, hopefully am, and what I want my daughter to emulate. 

I love the classic Rainbow Fish, such a great story with an excellent moral

Lift the flaps are huge hits in our house, from board books all the way up to the bigger ones - this line is one of our favorites. Usborne also has a great line of lift the flap books. 

And if you have a little one who is as space obsessed as my oldest (who at 3 1/2 years old asked for "a Stanford magazine so I can be an astronaut-doctor") here are some excellent reads.

We also love the entire line of Ordinary People Change the World series, there are so many awesome biographies told in fun such a fun way with great illustrations. 

My kids also love seek and find books, here are a few of our favorites.

Books for elementary aged kids range from picture books to chapter books in varying degree of difficulty, but again there are so many good books out there! We love both stories and reference style books. These Smithsonian books are amazing, we have several, including Science, and the Human body, and of course for our space obsessed son we have this one.

We love this whole line of National Geographic books; we have the Dinosaur, Ocean, and People ones as well as this

We love all of these books, beautifully illustrated and filled with so much amazing information.

My daughter is getting this book for Christmas from my parents, it is so beautiful and powerful.

This is one of the books we got our 7 year old for Christmas, I can't wait to read it with him.

As much as I love picture books, there's something special about those first chapter books, my son and his friends love semi-graphic novel books like Captain Underpants, DogMan, and Bad Guys is a fantastic series, it's part graphic novel, part chapter book and so fun.

For those who prefer a female lead, great series include Junie B JonesIvy and BeanPrincess in Black, and the classic Romona
Geronimo Stilton is another super fun series, my son is so close to finishing the series, he can't get them fast enough.

I love Roald Dahl, I still remember reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in second grade, my son's class just read it and he couldn't wait to finish it with his class so he rushed home and finished our copy!

Other series we love are My Weird SchoolMagic Tree HouseBear Grylls Adventure Series , and The Last Kids on Earth to name a few.  There are so many amazing books out there, I can't begin to name them all, but these are some great ones. Happy Reading!