Stuff It Real Good


I love the tiny treasures that stockings hold, but it is a challenge to fill them each year.  I try to find a balance of fun stuff (that isn’t complete junk) and useful stuff (like socks and floss).  Here are a few things my kids will find in their stockings this year.  All of the links are to Amazon, but I didn’t buy all of my goodies there.  You should be able to find most of this stuff in a store near you.



  1. Slinky!  These are endlessly entertaining to my kids. And I’m glad they’re cheap, because they inevitably get bent and/or tangled in about 27 minutes.
  2. Little Brown Bat stuffed animal – My three kids each get little stuffed animals peeking out of their stockings most years.  This year I went for the non-traditional: a bat, a llama and a raccoon.
  3. Body Doodlers – Nontoxic bath crayons made for doodling on skin.  My kids love any type of bath-time art, so I expect these will be a hit.  Fingers crossed they wash off as easily as they are supposed to!
  4. See Thru Music Box – This one plays Plum’s favorite, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and it is less than $5! Win!
  5.  Hexbug Nano Cat Toy – Because our cat Elsie needs a present or two, too.  These little Hexbugs skitter around the house like cockroaches. (I’ve actually never seen a cockroach, but I’m assuming they skitter similarly.)
  6. Flossers for Kids – Every stocking needs floss and socks.  It is the law.
  7. Edible Bubbles – We like to try to eat regular bubbles, so I’m guessing that ones that don’t taste like soap will be a big hit.  I also found some touchable bubbles that harden after you blow them, and can then be gently touched or stacked.  I’m kind of excited to try those myself!
  8. Cow Popper – Pistachio, my youngest, loves cows. And I imagine he will also love using these to shoot the balls at his sister.  I’m predicting that all of the balls will be lost by 12/27.
  9. Hair Paste – My 6-year-old loves looking stylish, and his hair IS pretty amazing.  So styling products have begun to appear in his stocking each year.
  10. Butterfly Hair Clips – We’re in the process of letting Plum’s hair grow back into a cute bob from a pixie.  She has specifically requested some “pretties” for her hair. Added bonus these are GOLDEN.

As for me, I’m hoping to get some scratch tickets, a whisk, post-it notes, and of course, FLOSS! Happy shopping!

Things I Love Thursdays

And now for your latest installment of TILT!  Just so you know, these aren’t affiliate links, I just like this stuff.

MagnaTiles – These flat, magnetic blocks are awesome. My children play with these just about every day.  We build buildings, make pizza, make rockets, the options are unlimited, and they really encourage creative play. They are even fun for parents.  Downside? Super expensive. 

Image from Click on the image for to go there.

Image from Click on the image to go there.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee – I know I’m not alone in my love of this book.  It is a simple (and not too long! Major perk at bedtime – I’m looking at you Mike Mulligan) book about sweet friendship and the illustrations are just lovely.  We have a lot of books, and this one consistently ranks among my favorites.


Image from Amazon.

Max Daniel Security Blanket – Pickle and Plum chose Angel Dear Blankies as their security blankets/lovies. I thought Pistachio would do the same.  But this soft, silky blanket gifted by my sister is his lovey of choice.  I can’t say I blame him.  It is cozy and luxurious, and a nice size.  It is pretty darn expensive for a lovey but it is his favorite. 

Image from Amazon (click on photo to link there).  You can also see these at

Image from Amazon (click on photo to link there). You can also see these at

Things I Like Thursdays

Yes, yes, I know. This is a day late.

And yes, yes, I know.

I owe y’all a real post.  And soon.

I’ve got about 8 in the works. Really I do.

In the meantime…

1) The Most Lovely Building Blocks Ever

I wanted to give blocks to the nieces and nephews – plain ol’ blocks, no batteries, long-lasting, imaginative-play-inspiring, classic fun.  I over-researched this. (Shocking, I know.)  I wanted high quality, hardwood blocks that would last, were beautiful, and were safe (meaning splinter-free, chemical-free, and chewable).  I found them at Smiling Tree Toys via Esty. Not the cheapest blocks out there, but lovely, and personalized.  Read about Smiling Tree – a family business with a fabulous philosophy – you’ll love them, and their toys.

Personalized deluxe 30-piece hardwood block set by Smiling Tree Toys

Personalized deluxe 30-piece hardwood block set by Smiling Tree Toys. Image from their store at Etsy.

2. Sanity-saving, color-changing alarm clock

I only regret I didn’t buy this a year ago.  My son is an early riser.  Some kiddos like to sleep until 7am (or later!), but not mine.  And I like mornings, but I really feel like waking up when the clock reads 5:xx can make for a harder day for me, and for the sleepy little dumplings, who don’t go to bed until much later than they should.  Enter the Onaroo Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Night-Light.  This clock can do everything.  In fact, it can do so much, that it is a little confusing.  But there are a few features I am currently loving. 1. It emits a soft yellow glow that replaces a night-light.  2. It has a digital AND regular clock.  3. It announces the time at the press of a button (my son LOVES this!) and 4. It is programmed to turn green when it is okay for my son to creep into my room, and pinch my nose to wake me up. (Yes, he really does this. I thought it was hysterical when he did it to his father. But now? Not so much.)  It works like a charm, and Pickle loves announcing, “It’s GREEN!”  Downside? It IS a bit confusing to use, and is pretty expensive for an alarm clock.  But hey, those minutes between 5:45 and 6:20am?  They’re worth a lot.

Onaroo Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Night-Light

Onaroo Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Night-Light (Image from, click the image to be linked to their site.)

Things I Love Thursdays (One Day Late)

Thing I Love: IKEA Landet Farm and Animals

We have lots of great toys in our house. Lots. And with a recent birthday (Happy 1st, Plum!) we got even more.  On one hand, I am so very grateful for our abundance and loved ones’ generosity.  On the other hand, I’m kind of ready to purge some of the abundance.  My house is only so big, and we are slowly becoming overrun by small plastic pieces, music-making toys and STUFF.

But this week’s TIL is a keeper. No plastic, no batteries, just imagination, play, cute furry beasts and everything wraps up into a neat and tidy package. Thank you, IKEA! And thank you to Aunt S. and Uncle M. for sending it!

IKEA's Landet

IKEA’s Landet Farm

IKEA Landet Animals

IKEA Landet Animals

IKEA Landet Farm

IKEA Landet Farm – Everyone tucked in tight!


Note: I may be Swedish, but IKEA doesn’t know me. I just love this toy.