GIFT GUIDE – UNCOMMON GOODS

Here are a few of our favorite things!
Uncommon Goods literally has something for everyone. Helloooo taco mobile. Anyone having a baby? Can we please get you a whole taco themed gift? Personally obsessed with the light box, and my kids are obsessed with the ice cream truck! Our friends, Haulin’ Oats have their amazing oatmeal on here- and we can testify that the cinnamon girl flavor is to die for!
The best part about Uncommon Goods is that they promote small businesses, emerging designers, and hand makers. Each item has a story behind it and a bio of the artist. As makers ourselves, we SO appreciate that! They also keep sustainability in mind- helping the earth and helping us gift beautiful, handmade items? Yes please.
Scroll down for links.
Love that the ice cream truck is made out of very easily put together cardboard, so it can be disassembled easily when your kids are finished playing. Great for small spaces.
As a blogger/instagrammer, the light boxes are perfect props for styling photos! And we’ve been using this as our shop sign when we do markets.

Here are our favs below, but also check out these easy to shop gift guide links:
BABY
KIDS
FOR HER
FOR HIM
bloody mary mix
men’s wooden watch
moscow mule carry on kit

HOLIDAY CARDS WITH MINTED.COM

Have you ever used Minted? Ok, click HERE and you’re welcome. Oh and pppssst! 20% off your holiday cards through today at noon PST with discount code: CM2015.
Minted did my holiday cards this year, and I am beyond grateful!! I could just rave about the whole process forever, but I’ll try to keep it brief. First of all, the quality is SO good. My cards have silver foil, people! The options are endless depending on your photo and the number of photos you want. It’s all tailored to you with ease. I had too many good photos to chose from (captured by the brilliant Kate Davis! Family photo shoot HERE) so I chose a backing with space for 6 more photos. My favorite part? The envelopes are pre-addressed for you! For free. Whaaaat?? And the wraparound labels with my return address just make the whole card come together like a little package. Could not be happier! You can purchase my holiday card design HERE.
Happy Everything!
xo
-L

GIFT GUIDE: HAND LETTERED RECIPES

 Most thoughtful holiday gift ever! 
Etsy shop, Alyssa Makes Something, creates custom prints from your own recipes! Just send her the recipe, and she will turn it into a treasured family heirloom. You can even get a digital copy to share with the whole family or even print on tea towels- wouldn’t that be cute? Her hand lettered, watercolor recipes are the sweetest (pun intended) gifts you could give. Turnaround time is 1-2 weeks for the original print and 3-4 weeks for the digital version. It’s first come first serve, so get on it, people! Alyssa is a working mama just like us. We love supporting small businesses and momtrepreneurs!
I had this challah print above made for my mom. It is the BEST. The recipe is actually by our close family friend, Carol, so of course, she and her daughters are getting a print too! Carol made this challah for everyone at my wedding. Like every single table got one. Seriously. Not only do I love eating it, but I love the memories we have surrounding it. Friday nights with family and friends, eating this soft, chewy bread, spread with butter or dipped in honey… drool. Every time my mom would make challah, the whole house was filled with the smell of baking bread! That’s probably my favorite smell in the whole world. That and my newborn babies. Equally delicious. 
Full recipe below.
RECIPE: 
Mom’s Famous Challah
INGREDIENTS
2 tsp honey
1 pkg yeast
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 c bread flour
1 egg yolk

Dissolve 1 tsp honey in 1/2 c. warm water in large mixing bowl which has been rinsed with hot water. 
Sprinkle yeast on top, mix, let stand 10 min.
Stir in oil, 1/2 c. warm water, sugar, 1 tsp honey, salt, eggs, and 2 c. flour. Beat well. 
Stir in remaining 2 c. flour. Dough will be sticky. 
Knead 2-3 minutes with a bread hook attachment or turn onto a floured board and knead. 
Round up in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 2 hrs. Gently put finger in top; if dough stays indented, it’s finished. If it bounces back, continue to rise.
Punch down, cover, let rise again 45 min. 
Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Divide into three sections and loosely braid*, tucking in the ends. 
Cover, rise 20-30 minutes. 
Brush with beaten egg yolk and 1 tsp water. Optional: sprinkle with poppy seeds. 
Bake 400 degrees 15 min. Put a toothpick in the center of a braid and check for doneness. My mom and I like to under bake it just a tad so it doesn’t dry out- we like it a tiny bit gooey but it’s all to your preference.
Eat! Delicious with butter and/or honey. Perfect the next morning for french toast.
*Traditional challahs are braided in one row as shown in the watercolor print. On holidays or special occasions, it’s made into a circle. I actually prefer to bake in a circle because the width is consistent all the way around and will bake more evenly.
*I used THIS hair tutorial for a 4 strand braid lol!!

I also had this recipe made for a surrogate mom, Karla, who always bakes for our family!! Her cinnamon spice bread is my FAV. You have to try it.
Alyssa killed it on these prints! On to order more……
Now stop reading and go bake these recipes!
-L

HOLIDAY PHOTOSHOOT – OUTFITS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

I think we all sort of cringe a little when we think about dressing up our resistant kids (and husband!) in fancier clothes and convince them to smile like they love taking photos. Just me? But honestly, it’s totally worth it in the end. I don’t always appreciate this stage in my life. The messy, whiney, poopy, busy days that just fly by without noticing any of the details. I’m too tired or stressed or frustrated to really take it all in. Seeing these photos (captured by the BRILLIANT and talented Kate Davis) will always be a fierce reminder of the beauty of our little family in this moment. 
With each photo we saw, we ooooh-ed and aaaahhh-ed and laughed, and omg-ed! Kate knocked it out. of. the. park. She made us feel right at ease, especially the boys! Max nicknamed her Katesadilla. I’m obsessed with her fashion blogger photos and love that casual feel more than the stiff posed look. I also loved taking pics around town instead of in nature like we normally do. Gotta love a good white background! This was shot all behind and to the side of Draper James and at Las Paletas. Ending the photoshoot with popsicles was basically the only way we got the kids through it!
Aside from finding the best photographer in Nashville (duh: Kate Davis) the next step is figuring out what to wear! Coordinating NOT matching is my personal preference. My best tip is to go into one store and use their color palette for the season. I guarantee they have similar colors in different patterns and textures that will be perfect for the whole fam. Start with yourself first. Find what YOU look best and feel comfortable in, then you can plan around everyone else. Selfish? Maybe. But kids and dudes look good in pretty much anything right? 
I’ve linked everyone’s outfits at the bottom of the post in case you want to go with our red, tan, and blue color palette!

 OUTFIT LINKS
Leah: poncho / dress (H&M in-store only) / boots or similar
Jeffrey: shirt (H&M in-store only) / jeans / shoes
Ari: shirt and sweater (H&M in-store only)  / jeans / shoes
Max: shirt and sweater (H&M in-store only) / jeans and suspenders / shoes
Goooood luck, Mamas!
-L

HOLIDAY CARDS + A MINTED DISCOUNT

Have you ever used Minted.com before? It’s so bizarre for us to hear that some people haven’t, because it’s an incredible company! Everything is just so. freaking. easy. We just recently went crazy on their art site which we’ll update you with later! Out of control good! 
Minted has an insane amount of designs for holiday cards. They use independent artists to design, so you can feel good about your purchase. The quality is also amazing, which appeals to these two paper snobs! They have foil pressed cards and we are suckers for anything shiny (hello rose gold foil… muah)! If you have moved, had a baby (and want to announce it 6 months later – insert raised hand here), married the love of your life, or just simply want to say Happy Holidays, there is a card for just that! You can filter it by the number of photos, whether you want it flat or folded, whether you want it to say Christmas/Holiday/New Years, if you want the writing on the top or the bottom… we could go on and on. And the coolest feature? You can upload your holiday photo and see what every single card looks like with your photo! Then you can chose a patterned back or more photos, you can order your return address label that matches your card. And the BEST part? YOU GET FREE RECIPIENT ADDRESS PRINTING. What??!!
Like we said, it’s SO easy! 
We don’t have our photos yet, but are planning which cards and which outfits go with our picks. Here are our favs…which one should we go with? Ah! So many good choices!
LEAH’S TOP PICKS:
Dashing Dots card HERE
Holiday Headliner card HERE
Not So Calm card HERE

Photo Booth Filter card HERE
JENNI’S TOP PICKS:

The More, The Merrier card HERE



Gold Illume card HERE


Santa’s Newest Helper card HERE

Silent-less Night card HERE

The other good news? 
Minted is giving you 15% off on holiday cards through 10/30/15 using code: LOVELION15
That’s something to be jolly about!
xo

DIY HOLIDAY CARDS DISPLAY

This is so easy… I don’t even know why I’m posting it. BUT I think it turned out pretty cute. So. I’m also procrastinating cleaning my house. Typically when I’m at my most creative.
I just received my first two holiday cards! One from my bestie since college, and one from my sweet little nieces and nephews! Last year I was so lazy (read: just had my second baby) that I put all of my cards in a pretty bowl on the coffee table. This year I’m stepping it up a tiny notch. 
All you need for this easy DIY is:
– 1 wire wreath form
– 1-2 packs of plain clothes pins
– 1 roll of fun washi tape
– 1 clear command hook (sticks on the wall and removes without damaging the paint!) See below:
I found this pretty Meri Meri washi tape at our fav shop Rock Paper Scissors.
 Measure by sticking a clothes pin on the tape
 Cut tape
Bend around the sides of the clothes pin. Use the back of your finger nail to really stick it on there well. And… that’s it. Told you it was easy! You could totally spray paint the wreath form gold or silver first, but it’s going to get covered up with cards anyway, right? She says to convince herself.
I still have to finish decorating my mantel. Cannot find the rest of my decor!! It’s probably in storage somewhere. Ugh. Ooh and I’m waiting on a sparkly banner from The Bannerie! I’m a tad obsessed.
Happy decorating!
-L

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE BOYS

Heeeeere we go, people! T-minus 24 days (or 15 days if you celebrate Hannukah like me) ’til Christmas! Here are my picks for the little dudes in your life. 
Click the item names below for the links:
1. ALPHA POPS: These are genius. Combining a kid’s favorite food group and learning? Check. Match uppercase and lowercase letters, match colors, use for imaginative play. Yum- I mean- fun!
2. BROTHERS BANNER: Sweet little sign for bros bein’ bros. Cute for a playroom or a new big brother. Love this Etsy shop- lots of rad designs!
3. KIWI CRATE: Yet another genius idea! Monthly subscriptions (3, 6, or 12 months) of creative and educational projects for kids of all ages. AKA no work for you mamas to come up with something to battle the “I’m bored’s”.
4. SPY GLASSES: Because every little boy wants to be a spy!
6. SHARK AQUABOT: Swims in water! The only kind of pet I’m okay with right now.
7. HARRY POTTER BOOK SET: A special keepsake plus it comes in a cool trunk! You know me and my true love for Harry Potter. My husband and I passed that love onto our son. He’s not quite ready to read the books, but he’s seen the first movie about 50 times. This month.
8. KINETIC SAND: An OCD mother’s dream come true! Sand that isn’t messy! You can squeeze it, mold it, shape it, let your kiddo really experiment with it. Comes in lots of fun colors too.
9. TWIST AND DRILL: If your kid loves to pretend to play power tools as much as mine, they’ll love this! The drill actually works and twists the screws in to build cars and trucks. Good for hand eye coordination and pretend play.
10. HI/BYE HAT AND GLOVES: For friendly kids to say hi and bye to everyone they pass on the street. Warm and wooly but don’t put these in the dryer… been there, done that. Now Max wears them.
11. THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES: Fun and silly and written by one of my fav comedians, B.J. Novak. I think any kiddo would get tons of giggles out of this one. 
12. STAR WARS COOKBOOK: Make ice saber popsicles. Enough said.
13. WOODEN CHESS SET: Chunky chess pieces perfect for chunky little hands with directions engraved at the bottom. A great first set for early learners.
Any gifts we missed? We’d love to know. Happy shopping!
-L