Ewokmama’s Gift Guide

I love Etsy. And I love Pinterest. And fun things. And shopping for people that aren’t me.

So I decided to make a gift guide. Even though Christmas is next week and it’s unlikely you’ll have time to get most of these things by then. Also, this may be just a list of things I (or people like me) would want. But isn’t that the case with most gift guides?

So here is Ewokmama’s list of things you should buy people! DOOOOOO IT.

1. Personalized Things

Who doesn’t love something personalized? I love personalized things of all kinds.

  • For instance, I am a huge fan of these Christmas stockings at Forshee Designs. They are large and sturdy and won’t stretch out (or down to the ground) when you fill them. The embroidery is beautiful. See how well they coordinate and hang just so?

stockings

  • Mom necklaces! There are so many to choose from. On the pricier side, I love this necklace from Red Envelope with birth stones for each child. You can have the bars engraved with the childrens’ names and birth dates. Configured the way I would want it (with two pendants), it costs $171. (That’s a lot of money to me.)

The more budget-friendly option is this Hand-Stamped Swivel Sterling Silver Bar necklace for $56+ at byHannahDesign. My BFF just gave me this for my birthday! Woot!

Speaking of art…

2. Art

RobinPlemmons

Custom Robin-art on my arm!

3. Tasty Treats mmmmm

AJ-2T

4. Weird Things

Sometimes you need a white elephant gift or you know someone who collects odd things. Think Geek and Fab are both great resources for finding the out of the ordinary.

  • But also – check out this Instant Comfort Pocket Box! It’s a little decorated matchbox that can be carried around waiting for that moment when inspiration or encouragement is needed. Adorable!
  • Sriracha Candy Canes – need I say more? (Okay, I do need to say more: I wouldn’t eat these, but they would be a great gag gift!)

 5. Booze

This one is a no-brainer, right?? Hopefully you know what your recipient likes to drink!

  • I prefer wine, and I buy most of my wine from Naked Wines {<—affiliate link with a deal!), which is like the Kickstarter of the wine industry.
  • You can always do something more interactive like a Homemade Gin Kit or a beer-of-the-month club, too.

So, there ya go. Thanks for letting me self-indulge! Have a great holiday!

P.S. This post is not sponsored. It does contain an affiliate link (clearly labeled). If you want to sponsor a post on my site (please do), contact me!

Two Awesome Deals at Tea Collection

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.

Have you shopped at Tea Collection? If not, you are missing out! They are a San Francisco-based company that makes unique and colorful clothing for kids (and some for adults, too). Every year their designers travel abroad and immerse themselves in new cultures – then they come back to the US and design a whole collection of clothing based on their travels.

TeaWearLove

Wear the love and give back this month with Tea! Save $25 and receive FREE shipping when you spend $150+ on Tea Collection. Their latest line is flavored with the spice of Morocco and is sure to make your heart go pitter pat! But you’d better hurry because this offer only lasts THIS WEEK: February 11-14. Just be sure to use the promo code: FALLINLOVE at checkout.

 

And, to help you to spread the love to others, Tea Collection’s Spring School Days Fundraiser will give 15% of sales to your favorite school or non-profit organization! From February 24 – March 2, 15% of all sales on Tea Collection made by you, your friends and family can be donated towards a school or non-profit organization of your choice. Just go to http://www.teacollection.com/about-tea/our-values#schools for more information on how to sign up your school or non-profit and start donating!

The Great Shoe Struggle Of ’13

Last week I threw my hands in the air and waved them around like I just don’t care whole self into the challenge of finding shoes for Jack. We did end up finding a pair at Payless. They are Airwalks (really) and look like this:

They only had this single pair in a size 13. 13 is the cap on “little kids” sizes or something. And then they go to 1 again. And have different styles and such.  Or something. I’m no expert in kids shoes. Or adult shoes, for that matter. I own a bunch of pairs of Clarks and a couple pairs of Roxy and that’s it. (I’m picky, too.)

Anyway, these shoes aren’t available in big kids sizes. And they are girl shoes – not that I care but another kid at school did make fun of Jack for wearing girls shoes. Kids are jerks.

Summer is coming and we live in a hotter climate that we used to. It’s likely to be 90 degrees regularly this summer. Not to mention Jack’s feet are going to grow. And a single pair of shoes gets worn out QUICKLY. He needs more shoes!

So, like I said, I threw myself into the challenge. I ordered nine pairs of shoes from Zappos (since they do free shipping and returns) in a variety of brands and styles. They all looked lightweight and comfy. They arrived yesterday and Jack tried them all on and in a matter of 15 minutes or so they were all deemed AWFUL.

I have illustrated the reasons below:

 

 

My kid can’t even wear Crocs, you guys! Or Keen, Lacoste, See Kai Run, Sanuk, Cienta, or Morgan & Milo. He really wanted those brown Crocs to work – he loved the yeti on them. He chanted “please oh please oh please oh please” while trying them on. Still, no luck.

And yeah, I tried to get him to try them without socks. He refuses to not wear socks. He wears socks to bed! Feet must have socks!

So I packed up over $400 worth of shoes into a box, and back to Zappos they shall go. Thank goodness for a generous return policy!

** This post is not sponsored but I would totally accept money to ease my emotional pain.

ModCloth Style Gallery Contest (sponsored)

Have you guys been to ModCloth? If not, GO. They have really unique clothing and some kickass decor (like this jack figurine that I just found and NEED). I’ve gotten nearly every dress I own there, and lusted after some of their gorgeous wedding attire, as well. I have my eye on this one for a friend’s upcoming wedding.

But you don’t care about my clothes (probably). This is what you’ll want to know about – ModCloth has one of the coolest new contests going on the web right now! From today through 7 AM PST on 3/18, ModCloth is inviting community members to check out their brand new Style Gallery, upload a photo, love images and share the looks that inspire them throughout the week of 3/11-3/18. The image that gains the highest community-generated loves will win the top prize of a $100 ModCloth gift card!

In addition, two random lovers of that winning image will also each score a $50 gift card!

Head over to ModCloth right now to participate in the Style Gallery or maybe just check out all of the great fashions available!

Extra Style Gallery Details:

How will winners be selected, you ask?
The owner of the image with the most ‘loves’ between 7 a.m. PT 3/11 and 7 a.m. PT 3/18 will win a $100 ModCloth gift card.

When will winners be announced?
ModCloth will contact the winners via email by 3/22 and announce the winners on the blog at 7 a.m. PT 3/27.

Disclosure: This post contains sponsored content, but my opinions about ModCloth products are my own and I really do own several of their items! For more details about my sponsored posts, please see my Disclosure page.

Greek Gods of Yogurt

dannon_oikos.jpg

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Clever Girls on behalf of Dannon. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program but my opinions are my own.

For more information and recipe ideas, visit www.oikosyogurt.com or www.Facebook.com/oikos. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

By the time Jack’s dad and I split in 2008, I was underweight due to stress, depression, and a certain 2 year old stealing half my food (much tastier when it’s on Mama’s plate!). Not only that, but I was still breastfeeding Jack, which had the weight melting off of me. I didn’t have time or energy to keep up with my nutritional needs and before I knew it I was wearing size 0 pants for the first time in my life (LIFE, PEOPLE!). I was losing my curves and absolutely not happy about it.

David and I started dating in the fall that year and one of our favorite things to do together was eat. Just about every time we got together, we went out to dinner or he cooked for me with LOADS of butter or cream. Between that and eating lunch together daily, plus weaning Jack at 2 1/2 years old, I gained 30 lbs…and was steadily climbing. I am a small person and most would say PFFT, but none of my clothes fit me anymore and my BMI tipped to overweight.  30 lbs on a small frame like mine is a lot.

That was when I joined Weight Watchers. I wanted to get to a healthy weight somewhere between under- and over-weight, and I did it in a decent amount of time. I took a break from it for awhile when life got busy, but I’m back at it (albeit only via the online tool). With WW I can pretty much eat the foods I like, but I need to watch portions. Rather than eating cupcakes every day (which, yes, I absolutely was doing for a while – hey, they are half off between 2-3pm at work!) I now only indulge a few times a month. (I suppose I could find a diet cupcake but that is just BUNK.  Or, if I really wanted a cupcake that badly, I could, like, do exercise, but it’s not THAT important to me.)

So cream and butter aren’t in my diet much anymore except in small portions and in yogurt form. I had a thing for maple yogurt with cream on the top but that had to go.  I turned to Greek-style yogurt, which was slightly better points-wise, but had a hard time finding a nonfat type that I actually liked (NF Greek yogurt tends to be a bit sour, in my opinion). I then got the opportunity to try this nonfat Oikos Greek yogurt and I marched down to my grocery store to grab some.

Lucky for me, the Oikos yogurts were on sale 4 for $5. Woot! I was bummed they didn’t have honey flavor (my fave Greek yogurt variety), but I got peach, blueberry, raspberry, and cherry (the fruit on the bottom type). I promptly went home and ate the raspberry one and it was absolutely frickin’ delicious. It wasn’t sour like the other NF Greek yogurts I’ve tried, thank goodness! Also unlike other nonfat yogurts, the yogurt wasn’t thin and runny. I was a happy camper.

I popped into the WW tool online, plugged in the nutrition facts and found out that the Oikos yogurt is the same number of points as the nonfat stuff I’d been eating. SCORE!  (If you’re on WW, typical Greek yogurt is about 7 points and Oikos is 3 – even some of the FF yogurts out there are 4!)  So, uh, NO DUH I’d recommend it. Healthy, yummy snack for the win!

Two important pieces of info you will surely want to know:

  1. Dannon® Oikos® Plain and Fruit on the Bottom contains 0% fat, while the Dannon® Oikos® traditional blended varieties contains about 3% fat. Both are an excellent source of protein, twice that of most regular lowfat yogurts.
  2. Dannon® Oikos® 0% varieties contain active yogurt cultures and range from 80 calories (Plain) to 130 calories (Fruit on the Bottom) per 5.3 oz. cup.

Oh and another tidbit that I found interesting – Oikos is actually owned by Stonyfield Farms, makers of the little yogurts (one of the few that can be found in organic) I prefer to give my kid.  If it’s related to organic, that’s almost like it IS organic, right?  (Did you know if you have a carrot cupcake, it totally counts toward your veggies for the day?  😉  You’re welcome.)

By the way, for you breastfeeding moms out there, yogurt contains probiotics, which ward off thrush (if you haven’t gotten it, that is).

I have partnered with Dannon to help promote the Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt Series. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about the promotion and product; however, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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