Toddler Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Aloha, friends! We’re straight up barreling towards Christmas here, which means festive fashion is in full force, Santa has been visited (Penny was very skeptical this year), and I’ve got about, ehhhh, 60% of my Christmas shopping done?

 

Which, I know, doesn’t sound too bad, but normally I’m a Black Friday-loving, early-present-buying kinda gal, so I’m starting to feel just a wee bit anxious over not being even close to done, haha.

But I’m hoping that I’m not the only one who’s not done with their holiday shopping yet, because I’ve also been meaning to do ye ol’ holiday gift guide roundup for several weeks now, but you know, life. Heh. And I know that many of you have probably gotten a lot of your shopping done already, which is great! But for those of you who might still be looking for ideas on what to gift your little ones this holiday season, I’ve put together a list based on the things that Penny’s either really loving right now, or the things that made it onto her (*coughmycough*) wishlist this year!

Some of the following links are affiliate links, which means if you click through and buy something, I may earn a small payment (at no additional cost to you.) 

If you’d like recommendations on items for the first year, either as Christmas gifts, baby shower presents, or just stuff to put on your own registry, feel free to check out my Baby Stuff Recommendations posts: Months 1 – 3, Months 3 – 8, and Months 8 – 12.

Stocking Stuffers

Skip Hop Fork & Spoon and Straw Cup

 

Penny’s getting more and more interested in utensils when eating lately, so Santa’s putting a “real” pair of metal utensils in her stocking. We also already have been using the Unicorn version of the Skip Hop straw cup, so I picked up the Fox version to match. These cups are great to use BUT I will warn you that the print on her unicorn cup totally scratched off. From my sister’s experience, some of the prints stay on perfectly well, and some of them scratch off soooo guess we’ll see if Fox beats Unicorn!

Munchkin Miracle 360 Cups (10 oz) and Lids!

 

We’re also graduating to the handleless Miracle 360 sippy cups, in a larger size! And Munchkin recently came out with lids for these beauties as well, which is great because Penny now prefers these and this way I can toss them in my diaper bag without fearing drips or leaks.

Triangular Crayons & My First Coloring Book

 

Penny has been showing an increased interest in coloring, crayons, markers, and the like. It’s still like, a 50/50 split between her attempting to draw and attempting to eat her drawing utensils (siiiiiigh), but I figured that this means it might be a good time for her first real coloring book! I’m pairing it with these triangular crayons that are supposed to be easier for little-little ones to learn to hold.

Dimpl

Fat Brain’s Dimpl toy has so many 5-star reviews on Amazon, it’s staggering! Parents are just so pleased with how much enjoyment their kiddos get out of it, and how deeply they can focus on playing with it. I picked it up as a stocking stuffer for Penny, but I have a feeling we’ll be busting it out early for her to play with on the 9-hour (!!) car ride to my sister’s for Christmas this year, hehe.

Children’s Headphones

Penny is still getting used to wearing these kiddo headphones, but they ended up working really well for us on our last flight to and from Atlanta to visit my sister. They have a volume limit so little ears won’t get hurt, but were clear enough to be heard over the roar of the plane noise, so a good balance! They plug into your device, so while they don’t have the convenience of being wireless, you also don’t need to charge them or replace any batteries. And they’re very reasonably priced too, and while they fit her at 15 months, they also expand so hopefully she’ll get a lot of future use out of them!

Knee Socks

Penny is basically a real-life doll, and dressing her up is SO FUN. I love these knee socks that I picked up on Amazon a few months back, as the colors compliment so many of her outfits and they’re so much more convenient for diaper changes than tights! They’re actually more like thigh-socks right now, haha, but I guess that just means they’ll be able to grow with her for a while!

Gifts

First Toothbrush Set, Toddler Toilet

Ahhh, the glamorous side of gifting. Penny’s finally got 8 glorious teeth, which means we are (trying) to get into the habit of brushing them. This Dr. Brown’s set comes with a soft bristle toothbrush that looks like an elephant from the top, and baby-friendly toothpaste.

I also put a potty on her Christmas list this year, even though we are probably not anywhere close to starting the potty training process yet, I know it’ll be here before we know it! And at least this Summer Infant one looks just like a teeny tiny grown-up toilet (complete with flushing sounds!) which I think Penny will love.

Cuddle + Kind Dolls

 

Penny’s favorite things in this world are her stuffed unicorns from Cuddle + Kind (we have the same one, Zoe, in both the small and large size). These handmade dolls are a bit pricey, but it’s for a good reason, as every purchase helps feed children in need around the world and they’re absolutely beautiful. Cuddle + Kind released a new doll last month — a flamingo somewhat unfairly named “Penelope,” so obviously I couldn’t just pass that up! If you live in North America, it’s not too late to order a doll before Christmas, and they’re offering free shipping right now!

OneKid Road Coat

 

I was complaining on Instagram about how annoying it is to constantly have to put on and take off Penny’s coats when getting her in and out of her carseat, and my friend responded recommending the OneKid Road Coat — a winter coat that is safe to keep on in the carseat! And then another friend of mine reached out and said she had scored an extra one on Facebook Marketplace for half-price, and would I be interested? Heck yes! It’s awesome — there’s two layers to the front: one super thin (like windbreaker-type material) and then the fluffier down layer. You just unzip the outer layer and pull it outside of the straps when buckling into the carseat — that way, you don’t need to loosen the straps to make it fit over the jacket (which is what makes it unsafe) at all! I love it, and now I want to order the unicorn print version in her next size up. 😉

Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Klip Klop Horses & Castle

 

Penny finds these little horses so fascinating, and the Disney lover in me loves them because, hello? Princesses! Each little horse comes with a ramp (and feeding trough, heh), and then they also can be used on the larger castle. The castle has been discontinued, but you can still purchase the Klip Klop horses new on Amazon. Even better, scour Facebook Marketplace and you might be able to score the castle AND the horses like I did for an absolute steal! $8 for the entire set!!!

Fisher Price Classics Cash Register

This thing makes me feel nostalgic like whoa — I have so many fond memories of playing with one EXACTLY like it when I was a kid, and I’m so excited that it’s BACK. She’s still a little bit young for it, but she’s really starting to “get” how things work and is just starting to touch on pretend play, so I know that this thing (coupled with a play kitchen, which is definitely something we plan on getting her eventually) will provide tons of imaginative play for years!

Halo Early Walker SleepSack

I’ve dabbled in weaning her off of wearing her sleepsack for all her sleeps, but it hasn’t gone so well. She’s pretty attached to her sleepsack, and that’s fine with me, especially going into these cold winter months since she still has no clue how to use a blanket, lol. However, now that she’s so mobile, she will stand up and try to walk around in her crib, in the sleepsack, which often results in her tripping and falling into the rails. Not so fun. So we’ve started using the Early Walker kind where she can slip her feet out of the holes when she stands up (but still deters her from trying to climb over thankfully!)

Skip Hop Explore & More Kids Chairs

I’m already a huge fan of the Skip Hop Explore & More Activity Table, which Penny has used since she was around 5 or so months old, and these chairs are the perfect accompaniment to it now that we’ve converted it into a real table for her to play on! These chairs were super easy for me to put together and they’re sturdy enough to hold a grown-up’s weight (well, I’ve never tried putting *my* weight on them, but both my mom and sister-in-law have sat in them without issue.)

Nugget Comfort

I’ve been obsessed with the Nugget ever since I stumbled upon them on Instagram, and this foam kid’s couch is at the tippy top of Penny’s wishlist. It’s supposed to be awesome for imaginative play as well as occupational therapy — yes, you can use it like a couch, but you can also can build forts, turn it into a slide, and way more! It also stacks up to save space when not in use. My brother and I already are surprising our sister’s kids with one for Christmas (couldn’t quite be a surprise for my sister & bro-in-law though since it has to be unboxed as soon as it arrives.) They do take some time to ship, so alas, it’s unfortunately too late to get one in time for Christmas Day. But if you’re okay with gifting a belated Christmas present, or just want to keep something in mind for future birthdays or holidays, this is a pretty cool, multipurpose gift!

Books

I could honestly make a list that’s pages and pages and pages of just book recommendations, because I LOVE books, and I hope that Penny develops a lifelong love for them, too! Like, I’m literally counting down the days until I can start reading the Harry Potter Illustrated versions to her. ::starry eyed emoji:: Anyway, these are just some of my current favorites and recommendations:

Emma Dodd Books

These books are sooooo beautiful — honestly, they’re more for me than for Penny right now, since they’re not board books, but the illustrations are gorgeous, and they’re printed on pages with foil detailing and more!! They always have a very simple and sweet storyline to them. I have like 10!

Dear Zoo

Without a doubt, this is Penny’s favorite book in the world, and because it also only has like 100 words total in addition to the flaps for her to lift, it’s also the only book I’m ever able to actually finish reading to her before she gets bored. I bring it up constantly because she’s just obsessed!

A Unicorn Named Sparkle and Uni the Unicorn

And these are the books I’m obsessed with on her behalf, hahaha. I mean, hello! Unicorns!! These books are both super sweet and come in either board book or regular book form, depending on what’s more appropriate for your kiddo. Sparkle is a little more tongue-in-cheek/goofy, and Uni has kind of a meta/self-awareness angle to it. They’re both really fun!

Never Touch A… Series

  

More touchy-feely books that are a lot of fun for toddlers! They’re very similar to the Usborne “That’s Not My…” series of books, but with a little more texture on the pages and a goofier vibe.

Gaston & Antoinette

The sweetest books about how family is about more than looks, genetics, and fitting in! They’re real story books, so Penny is still a little bit young to be able to fully enjoy, but I love reading the story to her and can’t wait until she starts to really appreciate it on her own.

Holiday Books: Dear SantaSanta’s Workshop Lift-a-Flap, Construction Site on Christmas Night

 

In case you’re in the market for any holiday-specific books, these ones are keepers! The first two are both lift-the-flap board books, which are Penny’s favorite, and “Dear Santa” is by the same author as “Dear Zoo”, and we have another book by the same author as “Santa’s Workshop” that she adores (another good one called “Babies in the Forest“). Sean works in the construction industry, so we are already fans of the “Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site” books, and so this Christmas-themed sequel had to make the list!

And okay, that’s all I can come up with for now! If you have any other recommendations on things that your littles loved at this age and up (15 months+), drop ’em in the comments! And I hope you’re all having an awesome holiday season so far!

Christmas Swag: A Poem

‘Twas Christmas that came on Sunday past,

Stockings

With gifts for all, it came at last!

Santa's Little Helper

An iPhone for Mom,

Mom on Christmas

A Keurig for Pop,

Santa for Papa

New running gear from Jenny,

UA

Presents were nonstop!

Swag

With new plates from Taylor,

My food photos will improve,

As my kitchen arsenal keeps growing,

Even though Instagram’s still my groove.

Tuckered Out

These are just a few examples
Of our awesome Christmas swag.
So as you can see,
We had this holiday in the bag.

This showcase doesn’t show all,
The best part isn’t yet pictured:
Come February I will be,
Amongst the witches and wizards!


My parents are taking me to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in February! AHHHHH!!

So spill: what did you get for Christmas?

Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day! In celebration of this day of… um… box…ers…?, here’s a song about it that my brother and his friends wrote 3 years ago! (Click through to view the video if you’re reading this via email.)

I have the day off from work today, as many of you probably do as well, so I’ll keep this short. Also, I haven’t dared to try to offload the pics from my camera this weekend out of sheer fear at the number of them. So instead of scarring dazzling you with picture after picture of food and gifts (mostly food. Almost all food.), I decided to take a quick second to check in and announce the winner of the Vera Bradley & V8 giveaway!

I had an awesome Christmas, which I’m sure you’ll all hear about relentlessly throughout the week. My family was once again very generous, and gifted me with some awesome things. You’ll see many of them in use over the next few weeks especially, since my kitchen equipment arsenal has almost doubled overnight, hehe. There will be plenty of time to brag about my rockin’ Christmas swag later though. For now, I need to get down to biz-naz. I can’t believe how many entries there were for this giveaway! I’m just sorry I couldn’t have drawn more than one winner. Can I get a drumroll please?

Congratulations Micky! Email me ([email protected]) and we’ll sort out the details! For those of you who didn’t win, fret not! I have another awesome giveaway coming your way soon. 🙂

free stuffs?

Hoorays!

I might not have had much to say, but I sure have questions for you all today!

Did you have a good Christmas? Do you have off work today? Any big Boxing Day plans? Shopping the post-Christmas sales? Am I the only one who is devastated that Christmas is officially over?

My “Grown Up” Christmas List

Ho, ho, ho! It’s December 1st, my friends, and you know what that means…

Ho, ho, ho!

ONLY 24 DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS!

Omgomgomgomgomgomg. My favorite holiday is almost here, and it’s officially December which means I’ve already been playing Christmas music for a week I can really get my holly jolliness on!

Unfortunately, we haven’t ventured out to get our Christmas tree yet, nor have the decorations gone up yet at the Casa de Powell, Jr. (I came to the realization that my brother and I don’t get to call our house the full Casa de Powell until we live further than half a mile from our parents.) But I’m hoping that this weekend will bring a tree into our living room and joy into our hearts (provided I don’t die from the hilliest 15K route that has ever been, er, routed.)

Until then, however, I thought I’d try to get into the spirit (of getting presents) and do what every other blogger is doing: post some of the things that made my Christmas list this year! After all, what’s more fun than making lists of stuff that you want and will probably never get? Granted, some items are more realistic than others, and hey! You never know… one of these years Santa might decide I’ve been really good, and get me that outrageously expensive dutch oven or that Kate Spade handbag to add to my “collection“. Hope springs eternal!

In the spirit of full disclosure and not wanting to be totally skeevy, please note that some of the links below may contain affiliates.

Sodastream Fountain Jet Soda Maker

Because my obsession with sparkling water wasn’t clear enough, right? Ha! I have been obsessing over getting a Sodastream forever, but I’ve held off (which, given my penchant for retail therapy despite that whole debt situation, is something to be commended, no?) I don’t even care about all the soda syrups and mixes and whatnot. I just want something to make my water fizzy. So if Santa feels like putting a full-sized tank of CO2 under the tree, I suppose that’d be okay too. Fizzy water FTW!

Vita-Mix 1300 TurboBlend 4500

What self-proclaimed foodie’s Christmas list would be complete without a Vita-Mix? I have heard nothing but amazing things about these high-speed, industrial-strength blenders, and for the price tag on them (upwards of $400!) they’d have to be. It’s been on my list for the past two years. It wouldn’t be the prettiest addition to my counter (which is already filled with more kitchen gadgets than I’d like to admit), but I’ve heard they can pulverize pretty much anything. In fact, word is that you can throw whole fruits and veggies in there and it will puree them so finely you can drink them like a juice, but with the fiber still included! Which probably would mean I could finally give my mom her juicer back.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Last Christmas my beloved siblings bestowed on me my DSLR: a Canon Rebel XT. As with all first loves, I absolutely adore my camera, and I think I’ve taken some pretty great photos with it. That said, it’s a pretty outdated model at this point. I would love to be able to upgrade my camera body to something a little newer, with more megapixels, a larger screen, and video capability as well (gotta keep up my vlogging, right?) Oh, and while we’re at it, a 50mm f/1.4 lens of my own wouldn’t hurt either. Just saying. 😉

15-inch Apple MacBook Pro

In case you had forgotten what the state of my current computer is, it ain’t good. There is a glorious collection of spider cracks sprinkling down it’s sad, sad screen due to a spastic kick and my habit of keeping my laptop on my bed. So, for the past 6 months I’ve been working with a broken screen and a system that can’t really handle the amount of time I spend in editing photos. Oh, and the battery doesn’t hold a charge anymore. Womp womp. Suffice it to say, I would really like a new one. But alas, I have to accept the reality that, barring any unforeseen lottery wins or leprechaun befriendings, I will probably not end up with a $1,800 ‘pooter in my stocking. Le sigh.

Okay, so now that we’ve taken a quick trip into fantasy-land, let me assure you I’m not solely about ridiculously expensive kitchen equipment and electronics. In fact, despite the fact that I so clearly behave as a mature, highbrow, elegant adult all of the time (HA!), I will fully admit to having the following items on my list as well:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Blu-ray

Well, this is kind of a gimme. I mean, I love Harry Potter. You know this. And since the deluxe box set of all 8 movies won’t be released until sometime next year (oh, the humanity!), I don’t want anyone spending their money on me procuring the dinky little set that is currently out, since I’ve already got all the individual movie anyway. So I just need want the last movie to watch over and over and over, until said deluxe set comes out. ‘Cause, you know, I definitely did NOT see it four separate times in the theatre. Nope, not me.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about Mindy Kaling’s hilarious book, and they were only confirmed after reading an excerpt from it on Glamour (so funny and SO true!). Other “literary” items on my list include the Parks & Recreation book as well as the second volume of the Twilight graphic novel. Yes, I already own volume one. DON’T JUDGE ME.


SUSHI SLIPPERS!

AHHHH! THEY EXIST! What better footwear to compliment my sushi footie pajamas?! (Though, granted, I guess I don’t really need slippers if I’m wearing footies… but still!)

SCHNAUZER SLIPPERS!

EEEEEEP! These also exist! Thanks to Mandee for letting me know about these… if I get them I guess I can finally stop tying Harry and Daxter around my ankles as a stop-gap! I mean… what?

So there you have it, a sampling of the things I’m hoping Santa will drop (gently) down the chimney this year. Nothing like a wish list to get yourself in the spirit, right?

What’s on your list this year?