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gift giving guide

November 24, 2014

We received some fantastic gifts from family and friends for our showers and after baby Dan V was born. Above are a few of the everyday items that saw a ton of action. With many of the items we didn’t know how much we’d come to appreciate them but those that gifted them sure did.

You see, V was a bit of a puker. He spit-up a lot. Like a lot-a lot. But that’s what babies do! (Trust me we talked to our pediatrician more than a few times about it. Apparently it’s a baby thing.) So quite a few of these items are on the list simply because they made the spit-up months a bit more dignified.

Without further ado…

  • Cloud B Sleep Sheep® – My brother-in-law’s mom purchases this for every shower because everyone she’s gifted it to raves about it! We don’t rely on it as much as some but we do love the different white noise options it offers – V particularly likes the whales. They even make a smaller travel version that you can attach to a car seat or Pack ‘n Play so you literally never have to leave home without it!
  • Aden + Anais Classic Burpy Bibs – These are fantastic! They have a snap so that you can place around the baby’s neck like a bib. Or you can throw over your shouldger as a burp cloth. They’re wide and have a curved shape so they fit really well around baby or on your shoulder and cover a lot of surface area. They’re also super absorbent.
  • Aden + Anais Classic Swaddles – These swaddling blankets are nice and big and thin which makes them really versatile. We’ve used them to swaddle V when he was little-little, for a blanket to cover him during warmer months in the car, stroller or on naps, attached them over the handle of his bucket car seat for shade, etc.
  • Carters Terry Snap-Up Sleep & Play – The key to this piece is ‘terry.’ The terry Sleep & Plays are awesome because they dry very quickly. If you have a puker, you’ll definitely want to get these. Plus they come in great colors and patterns. They’re both practical and irresistibly cute.
  • Swaddle Designs Baby Burpies – These burp cloths are sold in color coordinated packs of two. They are the perfect combination of adorable and absorbent. We received a pair as a gift before V was born and after we purchased another 2-3. Because if you’re got to wear a burp cloth to avoid being covered in spit-up why not do it in style?!
  • Summer Infant SwaddleMe – These are literally the best swaddles, especially when your baby starts to kick out of the ‘baby burrito’ swaddle blanket fold. They are a super simple, no fuss way to bundle your baby for bed. Cannot say enough good things about them!
  • Pottery Barn Kids Sherpa Stroller Blanket (Personalized) – My sister-in-law purchased this blanket for us with V’s initials on it after her was born. We LOVE it. It’s thick, soft and warm. Also, who doesn’t love a good monogram?
  • Bright Starts Lots of Links – OK, this may seem odd but trust me these links are amazing. We received them as a gift for one of our baby showers and I thought ‘Um… thanks?!?!’ having no idea when I would use them thus they were stashed away and almost forgotten. Let me tell you I’m glad I remembered where I stuck them because the possibilities are endless with these things! I use them for everything…
    • Connect toy to car seat, shopping cart or activity gym
    • Connect a mirror to the top of an activity gym
    • Attach Aden + Anais Classic Swaddle to the handle of a bucket car seat to provide additional shade for baby while allowing air flow

There are so many other unique items that we received but these were the unsung heroes on the front lines of baby duty day in and day out. They may not seem like much, but let me tell you they made our lives just a little bit easier as well as more fashionable. (As fashionable as you can be when dealing with spit-up on the reg).

Whether they are for you or for someone you know, you can’t go wrong!

LV ♥

– JLVR

pinteresting

hostess gift as easy as 1-2-3

November 13, 2014

The holiday season is soon to be in full swing, as evidence by not only fall/Thanksgiving decor but Christmas (yes… it’s mid-November and it’s happening).  It can be difficult to find the time to prep yourself for a party let alone a little something for the host/hostess. Who has the time to get all Martha Stewart for each occasion when you’re spending your week ping-ponging from daycare to work to home for dinner/bedtime just to wash, rinse and repeat? That’s why I love having an easy go-to hostess gift. It takes the pressure off trying to come up with something inventive in an extremely compressed time frame. (Let’s be honest, half the time we think of bringing a hostess gift the day of the party!)

One of my favorite hostess gifts is kitchen towel wrapped wine for a number of reasons…

  1. Wine is a great gift
  2. Wine wrapped in cute kitchen towels is a greater gift
  3. Kitchen towel options are seemingly endless
  4. You can never have too many kitchen towels
  5. It’s SUPER EASY

The great thing about this as a hostess gift is you can find everything you need at a few stores and have all items on-hand in a go-to spot to throw it together quickly and easily. What you’ll need…

  • Pick-up some cute kitchen towels whenever you pop into TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Tuesday Morning
    • TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Tuesday Morning always have deals on cute kitchen towels
    • Be sure to purchase some seasonal or holiday towels on sale after the season to have on-hand for next year
  • If you have willpower, purchase some nice bottles of wine (or booze) ahead and have them ready to wrap
    • For me this is a lofty goal, the wine always seems to disappear… funny how that happens!
  • Purchase some twine, it literally goes with everything!
    • No need to match colored ribbons, etc.
  • Grab some tags that you can personalize with a note, stamp, etc.
    • I used some manila pre-strung shipping/merchandising tags that I purchased from Staples

The steps are as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Kitchen towels usually come in a pair, wrap the first towel around the base of the wine bottle you’ll be gifting
  2. Next unfold one side of the second towel, place the bottle of wine wrapped in the first towel along the edge, then fold the towel around the base of the bottle like you’re wrapping a present
  3. Roll it up and tie securely around the top with twine, finally top it off with a personalized tag

This gift is perfect for any time of year and occasion – from holiday parties to hosted gatherings, housewarmings, etc.

Super easy, wicked cute, and aimed to please! Cheers!

LV ♥

– JLVR