Things I Love Thursdays

I’m not sure how, but somehow along the way this regular feature changed from things I LIKE to things I LOVE.  I probably should have stuck with “like,” since I’m a Yankee and we don’t like to over-emote in public.

I’ve been Christmas shopping (duh) and of course have found some lovely fun things that I want to buy for myself.  Maybe I’ll get a few things, wrap them up and put them under the tree.  That’ll confuse ‘em!

An Outing for Foxes by Natalie Groves (available at www.minted.com) I’m always drawn to whimsical depictions of anthropomorphised animals. I know that is weird. It may be the result of a childhood full of Beatrix Potter, Frog and Toad and Tasha Tudor, but I’m not sure.  

Look! Foxes riding a bicycle built for two!

Look! Foxes wearing clothes and riding a bicycle built for two!

 

Lorann Oils Lip Balm Making Kit.  My inner 12-year-old is totally pumped about this kit. And even though my 36-year-old self doesn’t wear much lip balm, I still think this is totally cool.  I found this kit (and the photo) at Williams-Sonoma.  You can buy it for more (but why would you?) at Staples and for less at LorAnn Oils and Flavors

Crafty, useful AND scented? Yes, please!

Crafty, useful AND scented? Yes, please!

Emily McDowell‘s, clever, cheeky stuff.  I’m not sure why I don’t own a bunch of her stuff already! (All photos are from emilymcdowell.com.)

Typically, I'm pretty chipper in the morning.  But 2 of my 3 children are VERY early risers so this mug hits home. Photo is from emilymcdowell.com, click on it to be linked there.

Typically, I’m pretty chipper in the morning. But 2 of my 3 children are VERY early risers so this mug hits home. 

As long as my husband and I don't text each other from opposite sides of the bed, we're normal, right??

As long as my husband and I don’t text each other from opposite sides of the bed, we’re normal, right??

I'm probably not cheeky enough to carry this tote, but it cracks me up.

I’m probably not cheeky enough to carry this tote, but it cracks me up.

 

As always, no affiliate links here.  I just think this stuff is great. 

The REAL Holiday Card 2014

I think some year we should all skip the professional photos, color-coordinated holiday outfits and kids with combed hair and we should put photos of our real lives on our holiday cards.  Last year, my card looked like this:

REAL Holiday Card 2013

REAL Holiday Card 2013

 

This year, we actually gave in and had professional photos taken.  Since I’m usually the photographer (and a mediocre one at best) I was thrilled to have some photos I’m actually IN.  We ended up with some good shots.  But my very favorite photo? No one is looking at the camera, my belly is hanging over my jeans, and my husband is being attacked by our cute 2-year-old.  But it kind of sums things up.  That’s my life.  Things don’t go quite according to plan and stuff is a little chaotic, but we’re in it together, we help each other out, and can laugh about all of it.

So without further ado, I reveal The Real Tartlet Christmas Card 2014:

Card design is "Winsome Holly" by Tiny Prints

Card design is “Winsome Holly” by Tiny Prints

“Christmas Day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas Day will always be
Just as long as we have we.”

- How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Pistachio, this is your life.

Pistachio, my dearest third, has been a lovely child since birth. He is easy-going, interested, happy to be held, happy to be put down, and he slept through the night earlier than my first two (FTW!).

He has also been kind of… well, funny since early on (can babies be funny? Because he is.) He likes to play the straight man in our family farce. He is the character in the play that mugs to the audience. I recognized it when he was only a few months old. I’d be snapping photos of the chaos, and there he would be, looking at the camera with a face that says, “Is this really my life?”

He inherited my expressive eyebrows.

He inherited my expressive eyebrows.

I went looking through my Shutterfly folders for examples of the glances he throws at the camera, at his siblings and at me. I found far too many to post here, but here are a few of my favorites. I especially like that he is still and questioning in the photos with his blurry siblings, as if to say, “What in the world have you gotten me into?”

“Mom, the kid just turned 4, do you really think this is safe?”

 

“This is neither entertaining, nor fun.”

 

“This one just kicked me under the covers!”

 

“Why are we doing this again?”

 

“Half of my DNA is this guy’s?!”

Pistachio, yes, sorry, this is your life.  Love you little buddy. Thanks for making me laugh. And the sleeping thing – thanks for that, too.

Things I Love Thursdays

The latest installment!  Holiday shopping is upon us, so here are some ideas for great gifts for kids.  As usual, I don’t get any sort of kickback for recommending this stuff.  I just like it. 

Micro Kickboard Mini Micro Classic Scooter – This scooter is awesome for the 3-5 set (my children started using it at 2).  The double wheels in the front makes it easy to balance and steer.  It is lightweight, active and fun.  Speaking of Christmas gifts, my 4.5 year old is probably ready for the next size up (the Maxi Micro). 

Mini Kick Scooter by Micro Kickboard. Image from microkickboard.com.

Mini Kick Scooter by Micro Kickboard. Image from microkickboard.com.

 

Elemenosqueeze Blocks by B. All of my children play with these. They are fun as blocks, but they’re so much more.  They are colorful and chewable.  They are squeezable – and my kids love the little whoosh of air squirted on their faces and hair. They are the complete alphabet with great graphics on each side. Young children can stack and balance them more easily than other blocks because they aren’t slippery. AND they aren’t dangerous – since they aren’t hard, they can be thrown and stepped on without pain (yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, Lego). Bonus? They come in a carrying case. 

Images from Amazon.

Elemenosqueeze Blocks by B. Image from Amazon.

 

Edison the Petite Lamp by Fatboy – This is a bit of a strange recommendation for a child-friendly “toy”, but hear me out.  I love this little lamp.  We received this as a gift and I was a bit confused about why until I got it home.  This little LED lamp is molded out of plastic, so there are no light bulbs to mess with.  It has three different brightness levels. It is rechargeable and each charge lasts for 6-8 hours (or more, in our experience).  It has replaced nightlights in our house.  Our children can take it to bed to read a book, and we don’t have to worry about burns, or broken glass or plastic.  It is definitely splurgy, but is well-designed and so very useful. The little switch tag is rubber and can break off, so be sure to use it with kids who won’t try to eat small rubber things. 

fatboy

Edison the Petit by Fatboy. Image from Amazon.

Humbling Plenty

I do love Thanksgiving.  Warmth, friends and family, with some gratitude and gravy thrown in?  Yes, please.

Grateful, thankful, a life full of noise, laughter, work and fun. Full of dancing, silliness, and so so many tiny articles of clothing.

There isn’t a word big enough.   Nothing encompasses the goodness, and fullness, the humbling plenty in my life.

I am so grateful for my husband and the life (and people!) we’ve created together.

I am so grateful for my loving family.

I am so grateful for my generous, genuine, thoughtful, gentle, and funny first.

I am so grateful for my spunky, interested, clever, determined, adaptable, silly second.

And I am so grateful for my cuddly, curious, pleasant, reasonable, thinking third.

Real Reason by Brian Andreas  Image from StoryPeople.com.

Real Reason by Brian Andreas
Image from StoryPeople.com.