Holiday Gift Showcase

Picture Books
I started my Holiday Gift Showcase with gifts inspired by children’s books so I think it’s fitting that I would wrap it up with a list of wonderful books that would make great last minute gifts.

” The Very Grouchy Ladybug” by Eric Carle is more than a cute book about a crabby bug. The Lady bug is looking for a fight and each hour she finds a bigger and bigger animal to fight with until she is unintentionally slapped by a big whale’s tail! I loved using this book to teach telling time, as there is a picture of an analog clock on each page. I would use a play clock and as I read each page ask one child to come and set our classroom clock. Also don’t be put off by the fact that the lady bug tries to pick fights, no animal takes her up on her offer and you can spin that into a great lesson about not giving into people who are trying to pick fights.

Sink or Swim “ by Valerie Coulman is my new favorite book, it’s about a cow who is determined to learn how to swim. He seeks out advice, gets all the equipment and never gives up! The story is a wonderful lesson about tenacity in the face of adversity . The cow just keeps trying!


” Alphabet Under Construction”
by Denise Fleming is a wonderful example of what an alphabet book should be. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers learning their first letters, the text is short , the letters are front and center and the illustrations are fun and interesting. My son loves this book, I grabbed it at the library after remembering how much my Pre K class loved it too! Many alphabet books are too long to read entirety at circle time or in one shot with a toddler but this my 19 month old will sit through Z every time!

” Dig Dig Digging” by Margaret Mayo was an instant favorite as soon as my son opened it last night. I bought it without pre reading it at all , hoping that just the fact there was a digger on the front my son would love it. The book is so much better than I expected. It goes through all different types of vehicles, not just diggers and the text uses a repetitive format that kids love. The best part is the opening line of each page where is says what each vehicle is good at. ” Diggers are good at dig dig digging!” ” Tractors are good at pull pull pulling!” are just two of the many. I love this because it had my son trying to say it and by the 3rd reading he was saying it along with me. Great book for toddlers and preschoolers!





” I Love You, Stinky Face” by Lisa McCourt reminds me of “The Runaway Bunny” but less saccharine and creepy. Sorry if I have just called your favorite book creepy but I’ve never been a fan of “The Runaway Bunny”. Back to this book and why I like it, I love that the little boy in the book keeps trying to find ways to make him unlovable and the mom keeps finding ways to love unconditionally. There is a deeper meaning here and moms will see past the fun illustrations to the real heart of this book, which is no matter what we love our children. When I found this in a thrift store and read it quickly, I couldn’t look at my son in his stroller throwing puffs on the floor without tearing up!

Freckleface Strawberry” by Julianne Moore is one of the few celebrity books you will see me giving a good review, I really like this book. It doesn’t talk down to kids, and the humor is funny for parents and kids alike. I like that her freckles do not go away as she got older too, instead she learns to accept and love them.

“The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch is one of my very favorite books. Some parents have shared their dislike of Elizabeth’s outburst at the end calling Ronald a bum but I think not only is it justified, he treated her horribly, but people say things when they are angry and you can easily use it to teach your child about anger. I think it’s a wonderful story about a princess taking things into her own hands and saving herself and the prince! My kind of fairytale.

” The Family Book” by Todd Parr is a book that doesn’t give readers a narrow definition of family , it doesn’t say that your family has to look a certain way, or be the same as your neighbors. As a teacher I really appreciated the matter of fact way it embraced diversity. Kids see that families are not all like theirs and it’s important to validate the truth while recognizing that while they may not all look alike, all families are made with love. Great book , cute illustrations and children love it.


” How to Make an Apple Pie and see the world”
by Marjorie Priceman cost be a total of 15 cents! It is worth so much more than that. This book is a gem! Perfect for older preschoolers who are getting a sense of the world beyond their own home and city, this book takes you on a ride around the world! You follow the little girl to Italy, France , Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica and back to Vermont! This wonderful book takes such a simple idea of searching for ingredients and blows it into a wonderful global adventure!

” Truck Driver Tom “ by Monica Wellington is one of my son’s picks. The story is simple, Tom and his puppy drive produce from the farm to the market and see the country side and much more along the way. The best part of this book are the fun bright and detailed illustrations, there is a wide variety of trucks, cars , emergency and construction vehicles! Also it’s a great lesson about how our food gets from the farm to us

Book Showcase

Board Books
No craft or song will ever surpass the importance of reading to our kids, a house can never have too many books so here are a few more for you to consider!

” How Big Is A Pig” by Claire Beaton has fast become a favorite in our house around bedtime. I love the felt illustrations, the detail amazes me and helps distract me from noticing that I have read it 20 times in as many minutes. The story itself is great too, it focuses on opposites in the farm yard with a zippy rhyming text.


” Moo , Baa , La La La ! “
by Sandra Boynton is brilliant and cheeky little book for your toddler to love. Young children will jump at the chance to correct the silly story that has pigs saying “La La La” instead of oink!




“The Little Fire Engine” by Lois Lenski is a simple little book about a fire engine that goes to put out fire. Nothing special right? Wrong! My son can spot this book from 3 shelves over at our library and in the past 6 months we have signed it out 4 times! The bright retro illustrations and simple text is perfect for your fire fighters in training!

“Brown Bear Brown Bear” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is a classic, it is genius in it’s simplicity. So often we think things have to have fancy bells and whistles to keep toddlers and preschoolers interested and this book proves us wrong yet again. I haven’t met a child who hasn’t responded well to this book about colors and animals!


Chica Chica ABC” by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is a fantastic board book and a shorter version of the ever popular “Chica Chica Boom Boom”. My son loves this book and it’s the perfect amount of text for a toddler. The illustrations by Lois Ehlert are so bright and bold that even a very young baby will respond to it. A must have for all home libraries!


” Good Night Gorilla”
by Peggy Rathmann is a silly story about a zookeeper and his charges that follow him home to bed. Luckily his wife is on her toes and gets those silly animals back to the zoo ! I love to use this book as a bedtime story.

“One Duck Stuck” by Phyllis Root looks like an everyday book , but inside you will find a brilliantly repetitive storyline, that promotes teamwork, and mathematical skills! My students a few years ago were nuts about this book and yours will be too!

Holiday Gift Showcase

Twitter Finds!
Are you on Twitter yet? If not you should check it out, I have found so many cool blogs through twitter and more than that I have found awesome additions to my gift showcase! Here are my twitter picks !


I couldn’t pick just one item from just dots , you can tell that great care and talent went into making the dress pictured above, the detail is amazing. My second favorite is this headband, if you have seen my hair you know why I love this, I need something just like it, I am way to lazy to do my hair and this headband is a perfect solution when a hat just won’t do!


This item isn’t so much a Christmas gift idea but how cute would these be for thank you notes for your child to write to those who spoiled them over the holidays? Robots are huge in our house but if they aren’t in yours, there are lots of other designs over at Paper*Cakes


Look at this shirt! I love that it’s girly , my favorite color and has somehow made skulls look fun and flirty! How beyond adorable is this? Oh and it’s less than $20! There are other amazingly cute bohemian style clothes at Baby-Vagabond !


Thrifty Craft Mama lives up to her name with this awesome FREE pattern for felt pumpkin pie, I don’t know about you but my toddler is getting a kitchen this Christmas and this is a perfect and thrifty stocking stuffer! Check out Maryanne’s other awesome ideas at
Thrifty Craft Mama


Building blocks are a must have for every child, and these from Princess Time Toys are awesome. They make a castle but there are enough plain blocks that you don’t have to make a castle every time you play! I am kicking myself that I didn’t see these before I bought my son blocks for Christmas!

Don’t be fooled , this isn’t a toy for your child, it’s a dog toy, and it’s earth friendly, 100% recyclable, and made in the USA. I think it’s perfect for the environmentally conscious dog owner, not to mention I think an artichoke is much more pleasing to see laying around your house than a yucky old bone! Find it and more ( including bones) at Paw Luxury !
** Paw Luxury has offered my US readers FREE Shipping !
Just enter the code FIRSTFREE !**

Holiday Gift Showcase

Made By You!

This week’s showcase is filled with things made by our loyal readers. Nothing makes me happier than to share these awesome holiday gift ideas with everyone .

Finding unique gifts can be hard, what about the person who has everything? The Perfect Profile is the perfect gift! What mom or grandma wouldn’t love one of these? Because they are custom made you can match them to your decor. Oh and don’t think they are just for parents, pet owners can have their fur baby’s profile done too!


Another personalized gift is this classy embossed glass ornament . Kids love things with their names on it and if your child isn’t a Jacob or a Madeline it can be hard to find something special , and custom gifts can get so pricey, not a problem with this ornament! It’s under $10 and worth every penny, there are lots of other cute handmade gifts at Scraps ‘ n ‘ Stuff.


There are lots of cute toddler shirts out there but I had to share this cowgirl shirt with you, you can find it and more at Pilarina’s Boutique . If you have a little girls don’t miss her adorable hair bows!


If you have been to my site before you may know I have a deep appreciation of all things that sparkle. These ornaments are not only beautiful , sparkly and affordable they can be customized too! Head over to Say It’s By U and check it out!


As a mom I am always toting everything except what I really need around town, now I can do it in style with one of Jen’s beautiful and functional bags. Her beautiful bags can be made into a stroller bag with a extra attachment! Swing by Handbags By Jen and you won’t be disappointed!

Holiday Gift Showcase

Baby’s First Christmas
Must Haves!

When I first saw Little Allouette‘s handmade wood teether I gasped, even if you don’t have a baby cutting teeth to buy for this holiday you might just want to buy it for yourself just to look at it’s so pretty! Check out their store for musical instruments, blocks and more.

It’s important to be hip when you are little and Hip and Little is filled to the brim with cute things for baby, kids and moms! This robot shirt is funky and the colors are perfect for a boy or a girl!

Blossom Toys has style , and you may think that the black white and red colors on this toy set is just chic, nope it’s actually the perfect combination of colors and contrasting patterns for the developing brain. We may love soft colors, but the bold patterns and contrast is just what babies need!

Abbey Lane
sets themselves out from the pack with beautiful and functional hair accessories for babies. I love that there is nothing on these that can break off and be dangerous to your precious little elf ! There are adorable ones for older siblings too!

Kids love to look at themselves, so why not learn something at the same time? Me and My Peeps Books are personalized board books using your own photos. You can choose from a wide variety of themes, the one pictured is all about body parts, so cute!

There isn’t much in the realm of baby things that make my husband laugh and agree when I say we need to get something like that! This neck tie shirt is an exception, VeryKIKI is chock full of funky things for the littlest person on your list.

This nursery art is so peaceful , and your child won’t out grow it like so many other nursery items. tiny Decor is filled with beautiful , green friendly items for your modern nursery.