Paper Fortune Cookies for New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is just a few days away! To make the evening extra fun for the kids, I have been making these cute paper fortune cookies so they can open one on the hour and have fun reading their fortunes to each other!



This is such an easy craft idea!! It can be used for parties, holidays or even as place markers at a dinner party!




All you need is scrapbooking paper
Glue
Scissors
Paper and a Pen

To begin, cut several uniform circles from paper.


Gently fold the paper together, but only make a small crease in the center.

Unfold the circle, placing it so the crease runs from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock.  Place a small dot of glue at 3 o’clock.



Fold the circle and press the paper onto the glue dot, making a taco shape.


Gently press the crease you made in step 2.  Place a glue dot along the folded side of the taco — alongside the crease.


Gently bring the two ends of the 'taco' together.  Pinch it together so that the glue dot holds the two halves together.



Add a strip of paper with your fortune inside.

You might also like these yummy pizza ideas for New Year's Eve.


Awesome and Delicious Stocking Stuffers

The gifts have all been wrapped and we are now down to the final days before Christmas. We are ready to hang the stockings and stuff them with goodies, but this year I want to skip the tiny toys and the too sweet treats in favor of better for you options. I am going to share a few of my favorite healthier stocking stuffer ideas with you today to help you make this a memorable Christmas morning filled with good stuff in your stockings!

This is a sponsored post.



Opening all of those gifts can be a lot of work. This year I am going to keep the kids hydrated and happy with the goodness of Juicy Juice in their stockings. They can sip a kid sized drink to fuel their unwrapping frenzy on Christmas morning.






Featuring fruit as the first ingredient, these snacks are rolling in fun and flavor. I love that they have vitamins and are gluten free. My kids love the experience of unrolling a snack as they go. Available in 3 flavors; Berry, Tropical Punch, and White Grape Strawberry, these are a great alternative to stuffing the stocking with candy!

Loaded with vitamin c, these organic snacks are always a hit with the kids! Packed with natural flavors and all of the fun of a gummy, these are a fruit snack you can give in the stockings without the guilt of sugar loaded candy.

Playing with all of the toys on Christmas is hard work. Adding a fun and fruity aquaball to the stockings gives the kids a fun drink to fuel their day. Made with natural flavors and featuring fun characters, this is a drink the kids will love. Drinking their water has never been as fun or tasty!



It wouldn't be Christmas without cookies! But these are guilt free cookies! Each one is loaded with protein and nutrients for a decadent snacking experience. These are so tasty that even the kids who don't care about health benefits will want to gobble them up. 

Christmas isn't just about the kids. Adults want a stocking too! This protein powder makes a great stocking stuffer because it is so good for you!Packed with protein and made with only 3 ingredients, this is perfect for anyone health minded!

Available in both 10.1 oz. and 13.5 oz. sizes these glass Juice Jars are great for gifting that one person you know who's always eating on the run. These jars feature an air-tight stainless steel lid, perfect for keeping your smoothies, workout juices, oatmeal and other snacks fresh while on-the-go.




Cased in 7 fluid ounce bottles, Brooklyn Crafted's small but mighty ginger beers are the perfect size for Christmas stockings and great for enjoying on their own or incorporating into cocktails this holiday season. Made with 100% fresh ginger pieces you can actually SEE in each bottle, the craft ginger beers are available in four trendy flavors. I love this drink as a stocking stuffer because ginger is so soothing to an overindulged tummy, and we all know that has been known to happen around the holidays!

With a delicate straw color and a golden apple flavor this is the ultimate stocking stuffer for a wine enthusiast. Fun to drink and perfectly aromatic, this would make anyone smile on Christmas morning as they open their stocking! Maybe if you are lucky, they will share it with you later in the day!





10) Lumi Shots
These are one of my favorite stocking stuffer ideas for fitness enthusiasts. These are loaded with good things for boost of energy when needed! Among my favorites are the 6 pack of fully loaded cold processed nutrition shots from Lumi. Made with broccoli leaf, lemon, and ginger this shot is aptly named. It is fully loaded with calcium & vitamins A & C to keep you on your toes for whatever life throws at you.



Lumi also offers cold pressed juice with an impressive 50 day shelf life. These are perfect for stuffing a stocking with nutrition. I am a big fan of the 10 oz Wahoo Orange  and 10 oz Harvest Apple  varieties for keeping my family healthy and hydrated. These are perfect for stockings and gift basket offerings at the holidays to help combat the blahs from excess celebrating, or to fuel the body with good things during cold and flu season!


If you have a favorite stocking stuffer idea for kids or adults please leave a comment to inspire others to avoid tiny toys and too much candy this year!



10 Projects to Make for Hanukkah



 The holidays are near and it is time to get crafting! I have 10 Projects to Make for Hanukkah that you aren't going to want to miss! These are so fun you are going to light up at the sight of them!







Hanukkah Party Poppers by Frugal Elegance
Shimmering Star of David by Crafts by Amanda
Hanukkah Stained Glass Craft by Kid World Citizen
Modern Menorah by Delicate Construction
Handprint Menorah by Mom Endeavors
Elegant Menorah by Mod Podge Rocks
Hannukah Gelt Tree by Yesterday on Tuesday
DIY Menorah by Sugar Bee Crafts
Hanukkah String Art by Delicate Construction

I can't wait to make the party poppers with the kids! They are going to LOVE these!
If you have a fun craft or DIY for Hanukkah please leave a comment to share with us!

Top Picks for Gifts for Her

 I am shopping, wrapping and baking like Christmas is less than 2 weeks away! Now that the kids gifts have been wrapped and hidden away, I am completely focused on finding the best gifts for women!

This year, you can skip the ugly Christmas sweaters and the standard boxes of chocolate that we all end up buying when we are stumped on what to get a special lady in our lives. I have gathered some of my favorite gift ideas to share with you. Buying an awesome gift has never been easier with this guide!

Product samples were received to inspire this gift guide.



1) Zerowater 23 Cup Pitcher
This is such a handy item with health benefits. I love the idea of gifting this water pitcher because it will help reduce the amount of plastic bottles used and thrown away in any household and it provides some amazingly crisp and clear water from the tap. This unit retails for under $40 and is so easy to use. All you need to do is fill it with tap water, give it a few moments to filter and push the easy to operate dispenser. The pitcher includes a testing unit to make sure you are drinking zero solids.



2) Balsam Fire Log by American Home  Yankee Candle
Relaxation is always a wonderful gift at the holidays. With this fire log by American Home for Yankee Candle, you can toss this in the fireplace and get cozy with your family. You can buy a 4 pack of 3 hour logs for under $25 for a fragrant and relaxing gifting option this holiday season. This makes a great gift because it is unique and everyone loves Yankee Candles!




3) Personal Trainer Food
As a mom who is eating healthier and devoted to living my best life at the holidays and long after they have passed, Personal Trainer Food is one of my favorite gift ideas. While it may be anything but traditional, you can rest assured the gift of delicious and easy to prepare food will be a hit with anyone this holiday season. Personal Trainer Food is not like any other diet I have tried. First, everything they offer is delicious. I love that you can order 2 weeks of food or a month, and pick what suits your palate.

I have tried other diet programs, and failed, but after one month of Personal Trainer Food I lost 9 pounds and had heaps of energy. I loved that I could eat real meat and cheese, plus snacks and lose weight by simply walking. I highly recommend this service to anyone that wants to live healthier, lose weight and eat REAL FOOD!




4) Thirty One Gifts
Thirty One has so many awesome options for the holidays. From handbags, totes and lunch thermals, to jewelry, pillows and more. I love to gift Thirty One because it supports women in small business and helps to make dreams come true. This year I am gifting the City Charcoal Chic Tote. It is gorgeous and works perfectly for a night on the town, or a great bag for work. The bag features a pebbled faux leather exterior and a colorful polka dot interior. It is spacious enough to tote all of your necessities around in without giving shoulder pains.

I am also loving the Endless Dreamer Necklace with charms. There are so many options to create a personal gift from the heart that she will love to wear and show off.

Thirty One also offers great gifts for the home, for the kids and for men too! My husband loves his Moosin Around Tote and uses it all of the time! No matter who you are shopping for, Thirty One has you covered!



5) Biore Products
Sometimes being an adult means putting yourself last. While we may not want to admit it, sometimes we let ourselves go. Biore offers a line of affordable and easy to use options that makes pampering a breeze. My favorites include the charcoal bar, the self heating one minute mask and of course, pore perfect strips! Priced at under $7 each, you can stuff a stocking with the gift of healthy skin, or you can pair these offerings with some small pampering items like sleeping masks, a great lotion like Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer and some epsom salts to make a gift basket that will pamper and indulge the skin! I love that you can find all 3 of these items at mass retailers for a last minute gift option on a budget.





6) Healthy Fragrances
There is something super alluring about a new perfume. I am crazy for the line of Lavanila fragrances this year. Retailing at under $50 you can find these luscious full size perfumes at Sephora. I love that each fragrance is blended with organic sugar cane alcohol, natural botanical extracts, and pure essential oils that are delicate on sensitive skin. Unlike other fragrances on the market, the Healthy Fragrance is free of drying alcohol, petrochemicals and phthalates.

You can find this line in six invigorating scents: Vanilla Passion Fruit, Vanilla Grapefruit, Vanilla Coconut, Fresh Vanilla Lemon, Vanilla Summer, and Pure Vanilla.



7) Image Merry & Bright Skin Care
This is an affordable and awesome limited-edition collection containing IMAGE Skincare’s top rated VITAL C products to nourish, hydrate and revitalize dry, sensitive or redness-prone skin. Includes Vital C hydrating facial cleanser, Vital C hydrating anti-aging, Vital C hydrating enzyme masque, Vital C hydrating repair crème and Prevention+ daily hydrating moisturizer SPF 30. Retailing at under $20 this is going to make for a merry and bright complexion into the new year. Find it online or in spas and salons nationwide.



8) KORRES Greek Wonders Skin Kit
For under $40 you can give the gift of discovery. With the KORRES Greek Wonders Kit the inner  Greek Goddess on-the-go can shine with some of the most powerful, centuries-old skincare from Greece, all in travel size. Includes the Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser, Pomegranate Moisturising & Balancing Cream-Gel, Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial & Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir. This is available online, at sephora and from HSN. This is a great kit for  skin care on the go.




9) Holiday Glam Make Up
This year, why not gift her the hottest looks in make up? Sally Hansen and Rimmel have gorgeous and affordable options that make perfect stocking stuffers! I love the glam in grey offerings this year as they are elegant without being over the top. Look for Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour, Rimmel London ScandalEyes Eyeshadow Stick, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polishes and Insta Dri Nail Color in grey shades for under $10 each. These make a gorgeous glam stocking stuffer option!



10) Gourmet Gift Baskets
I am a big fan of gourmet gift baskets! They have the yummiest gift options! From sweet treats, to buckets of beer, and giant cookies! Plus everything yummy in between! This year I am favoring a few options such as the Pineapple Dried Fruit Platter. Retailing at under $50 this is a healthy and sweet gift option. Presented on an eye catching pineapple shaped cutting board, this is a great hostess gift, or a way to share something guilt free and decadent to your guests this holiday season. The dried fruit platter includes pineapple, cherries, plums, apricots, dates, plums, kiwi, pitted prunes and apple rings.  In the 1700s, the pineapple was the ultimate symbol of hospitality. This modern version of the pineapple gift is sure to evoke similar feelings of warmth, community and camaraderie.



I also love the Tour of Italy Gift Basket. This is packed with delicious goodies from Italy! This is the ultimate gift for a foodie. It contains rich pasta crafted in Puglia, tomato sauce originating from Rome, and gourmet pistachio biscotti for dessert, and so much more like marinated artichoke hearts, Tuscan minestrone soup and even luscious lemon wafer bites. Retailing at under $130, this gift offers a perfect escape from winter weather without ever leaving the house!





Sometimes, you need a sweet gift for a sweet lady. The Good Tidings Holiday Gift Basket by Gourmet Gift Baskets is the perfect option! Featuring so many favorite sweets like white chocolate cranberry cookies, Ghirardelli Chocolate Belgian Chocolate Truffles and an ah-mazing cashew brittle to name a few, this is a gift basket that will satisfy her cravings for sweets while indulging her in the gourmet side of gifting. Retailing for under $50, this is one sweet way to spread holiday cheer!



11)  AiroSpa Pillow
 Gifting luxury is as easy as gifting this unique, simple to use, affordable, multi-purpose stress reliever and aromatherapy pillow that can be used at home and travel anywhere. With its built-in and patented fan, air-flow vents and face-down angled construction, the AiroSpa™ Pillow can be used as a home/office/travel massage experience enhancer with a partner or all on its own for a calming and relaxing experience. I love that it can use your favorite essential oil to take a massage to the next level of bliss, or to give you a restful experience on the road.

If you have favorite gift ideas for a special lady this holiday season I would love to hear about them! Leave me a comment to inspire my last minute shopping!



Top Picks for Baby Gifts

When my kids were babies, I never knew what to buy them for Christmas. I would stare at toys in stores, and groan over onesies. Babies can't do a lot, but they are always learning. Picking a great gift is a lot more complicated than picking up something colorful and calling it a day.

Now that my kids are officially not babies anymore, I have finally figured out what makes the perfect gift for a little one! It is something useful, stimulating, and or fun!

I have compiled a list of must have baby gift ideas to share with you. From fun to functional, this list contains something for all of the tiny ones on your shopping list! Samples were received to inspire this gift guide.



1) Meadow Days Dynamic Gymini  by Tiny Love
I love this activity center for babies 0-18 months in age. It is colorful, cute and has so many ways to engage your little one. It is perfect for a tummy time mat, and will adapt to meet the needs of a growing baby or toddler. With 7 developmental features from language to cognition, this fun way to play and learn will engage the senses and entice tiny ones to play. This is a great gift idea that can grow with a newborn!



2) Vida Snow Boots
Vida has so many great options in footwear for babies, toddlers and older kids. I love the snow boot collection which includes the stylish  Jamboo Nydia & Azami styles for girls and the  Baltoro & Venom styles for boys. These are stylish, durable and perfect for keeping tiny feet toasty even on the snowiest of days!



3) Maxi Cosi Pria Car Seat
A great car seat makes traveling safer and more comfortable for everyone. The Maxi Cosi line of car seats is one that I would highly recommend to other families as I use this brand for both of my growing children and have for years. I love that with the Pria seat this is the only car seat you will need for many years! The Pria 85 Max convertible car seat fits children rear-facing starting at 5 pounds with removable insert cushions to give smaller babies a snug fit. It then keeps them cozy up to 40 pounds. When they're ready to ride forward-facing, turn this car seat around to safely fit children up to 85 pounds; the highest weight range offered by a convertible car seat. Both stages benefit from the safer side impact protection provided by Air Protect® technology which protects your child where it’s needed most, around the head.

4)Malarkey Kids Munch Mitt 
This is a great stocking stuffer for a baby that is teething! It is undroppable and gives the tiny teether something awesome to chew on. It fits over the hand and gives little ones a chance to teeth and soothe without the fuss of a traditional teething toy.

5) Snack & Shop Cart Tray
This is a great tool for kids that are old enough to sit in the cart while parents shop. The tray attaches to the cart and offers an easy way to serve a snack on the go. This would have made a huge difference to me while my kids were small as snack time at the store can save your sanity and keep the kids happy!

If you have a great idea for gifts for babies, please leave me a comment to inspire other readers that are shopping!

Top Picks for Gifts for Guys

Shopping for the special men in your life can be a challenge! We are at less than 2 weeks until Christmas and I have been searching high and low for awesome gift ideas. I cannot bring myself to buy another pair of sleep pants or drug store shaving kit to wrap up and present to my husband or father.

This year I am sharing the most thoughtful, sophisticated, stylish and delicious gift options for the guys! Product samples were received to inspire this guide.


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There is something really classy about a pocket square. This one is perfect for my history loving husband. The silk pocket square depicts the City of New York in the 1870's Retailing at under $60 this is a gift that adds so much flair to any outfit. The printing is eye catching and thought provoking, for a truly one of a kind gift.


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This is a gift to splurge on, as it is truly a gorgeous dinner jacket. Perfect for a special event, or a unforgettable night on the town, any man with this ensemble in his closet is prepared for anything, no matter how swanky it may be. Retailing at $549 this jacket is a one of a kind. Conversation-starting, luxurious and reasonably priced, these custom-tailored velvet blazers are sure to make any man a standout for the holidays, whether he's just going out to a bar or dinner, or he's attending the most posh, highly celebratory events. These stunners come in navy blue, black and deep purple and are sure to make people ask the handsome man wearing them, "Where did you get that beautiful blazer?"


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If your special guy wants to get in better shape or take steps to being healthier than ever, this app is perfect for gifting. Think match.com for dieters! It links him with a dietician to make healthy choices and start living his best life. There are 2 plans available starting at about $50 a month, or $100 a month. Since this is an app, you can truly shop at the last minute and still deliver a great gift!


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I love the offerings from gourmetgiftbaskets.com and how they take the stress out of shopping by delivering a great gift, right to the door of whoever you are gifting! This year, I love the Fresh Fruit Gift Basket option for a sweet yet healthy holiday offering. Featuring red and green apples and oranges, this is a super fresh and inviting gift option. Retailing at under $100 this is an excellent way to send holiday cheer with a fantastic assortment of fruits, popcorn, cookies, crackers and so much more!


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Because life is short and you should totally eat the cookies and brownies that Christmas has to offer, I love the Baked Goods Sampler Gift Basket . This basket is packed full of irresistible options like Peanut Butter Brownies, Lemon Sugar Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies and Chocolate Chunk Brownies to name a few. Retailing at under $60 this is a sweet gift for a great guy!


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Thirty One has so many fun options for the whole family, and the guys are not excluded! I love that this is a masculine print that he won't mind carrying to games, events and practices. It is spacious and comfortable to carry and can be used in so many ways! Thirty One can help him get organized and carry all of the essentials on any adventure he goes on. Retailing at $35 this is a great gift for any guy on your list. You can also find this print on Thermal Lunch Totes, mini bins and more to give him the gift of organization and function on a budget.


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This is one of the most fun gift options of the season. I love love love that they have star wars options available for the guys on your list. My favorites include the At At Ugly Christmas Sweater which is so subtly wonderful that if you don't know Star Wars you might not get it. I am also crazy for the Boba Fett button up sweater which is colorful and super cozy! Priced at under $50 these are festive and fun options for the guys on your list. If they aren't into Star Wars, no sweat, you can find so many other awesome options onsite.




If you have ideas for thoughtful gifts for him this Christmas, please leave a comment to share the inspiration! From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!

Indoor Play with Baby Cubby

Winter is here, and we are preparing for many long months of indoor play, snowy weather
and cabin fever. With an active little one in the house, that means play time needs to cover
a lot of bases. There are afterall, wiggles, jiggles and giggles to get out!

This post was sponsored by Baby Cubby.


We are taking play time to a new level of fun with Baby Cubby. This is such a fun shop that
finding ways to make indoor play enticing is a breeze.





Harp is all about romping, roaring and stomping, so the Jurassic Adventure Wooden Playset
was so much fun! On the first chilly rainy day we had an adventure fit for the Jurassic time
period. As a parent, I love that Baby Cubby offers toys that are screen and battery free for
engaging and imaginative play sessions for growing minds!






Harp has a soft spot for all things cute and cuddly, so finding a friend or two to help her pass
an indoor day was a must. We are both still swooning for the Maileg Mouse Plush Toy
Collection.   Mum and Dad in Cigar Box and Baby Twins in a Matchbox were the perfect
choice to inspire hours of dramatic family play. These are possibly the cutest little things
ever. They are unique, perfectly sized for tiny hands and I love the storage that is included
via the boxes!



Dramatic play is so important for growing minds and bodies! It helps children to form the
foundations for friendships as well as offer an outlet for making sense of situations in their life,
on a much smaller level. Having a tiny family to use as a dramatic play tool will be helpful in
preparing and coping with the new experience of preschool for Harp.




Indoor play needs to incorporate movement to keep kids balanced. Finding suitable ways
for active indoor play seems like a daunting task, but keeping things simple is often the key.
Harp and I have been hopping around in style like beautiful little bunnies with these
Meri Meri Bunny Ear Hair Accessories. These are adorable felt ears that will put the
hop in your little ones step and keep them playing, pretending and looking pretty. I love that
these are so affordable at $7 a pair and can entice little ones to get their wiggles out bunny style.



If you too are preparing for indoor play on fall and winter days, I highly recommend checking
out The Baby Cubby site. They have an impressive selection for babies, toddlers and parents
that features some of the best options in gear, toys and feeding.

Saving Big on Last Minute Shopping #5Back17

With less than 2 weeks until Christmas, I am going to hit the stores with purpose this weekend. There are gifts to buy, meals to plan and of course, decorations to finish! Wouldn't it be nice if I could save a little money and tell you how I plan to do it all on limited time?

This post was sponsored but the opinions are my own.

Well, you are in luck. I am going to share my secret money saving weapon with you, that makes my shopping easier, keeps me on budget and helps to keep some of my hard earned cash in my pocket. I won't have to cut corners or settle for less than the perfect gifts either with my secret money saving high five.

Right out the door I am going to save $19.05 on all of my shopping, but the savings will certainly add up beyond a $20 bill. I am buying a Five Back Visa Gift Card and hitting the shops! At five back retailers I will earn 5% of the purchase added back to my card. That is a deal worth laughing all the  way to the bank over.



But, I know I am going to save even more than 5%, because friends, I am a double dipper. I have clipped my coupons and noted who has the best sales.  I am ready for shopping and saving action!

Now, there is a fee to buy the five back card of $5.95, but if I load $500 on it, which happens to be my holiday budget, the card more than pays for itself in cash back! I love that I can load my card and stop worrying about going over budget, and of course, I can use it anywhere that Visa is accepted, just like I would cash or a credit card.

The Five Back Visa Gift Card also makes a cool as ice gift idea for anyone on your shopping list. I love the idea of giving it to college students to help them stretch their money a little further with 5% back going on to the card for later!

Who will you buy a Five Back Visa Gift card for this year? A special someone or will you use it for your own shopping? If you feel lucky, someone is going to win a gift card! Good luck and happy shopping!


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Easy Rudolph Bark Recipe

This easy Rudolph bark comes together in no time and creates a fun and festive treat to share with friends and neighbors this holiday season!




This is super easy to make! It requires very few supplies and is so easy that even kids can make it!



This post contains affiliate or partner links.

I used stick pretzels, red M&M's and candy eyes, and chocolate!

Melt the chocolate and spread it on a foil lined cookie sheet.
Add pretzel sticks for antlers, the eyes and one red M&M for Rudolph's nose!
Allow the chocolate to cool and harden, then break it into chunks and serve or share!



You might also love this Melted Snowman Bark Recipe.

Top Gifts for Girls

This year there are so many awesome gift options that the hardest part of making Christmas wishes come true is deciding on what to buy! I have been busy as one of Santa's elves testing out some of the hottest toys and I have found some super fun ones! I am so excited to present these fun toys to you in my top picks for girls gift guide!

This post contains partner and affiliate links. Products and or payment was received for promotional considerations.



1) LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition Kids Tablet
This was my top pick for Harper this year because she really wants to use my ipad all of the time, but I worry about some of the things she wants to watch and play. The ads that pop up on so many of the games. This tablet is completely perfect for her, right out of the box. It has 20 learning games installed for family friendly entertainment, it also has a free trial of Leapfrog academy included. This offers kids a great chance to learn a variety of subjects anywhere they may go. The search feature is super safe, which I love. I no longer have to worry about my 4 year old landing on inappropriate youtube videos!

Retailing for under $120, this is a tablet that will grow with Harper. Ideal for ages 3 to 9, this is a colorful and durable tablet for kids that helps them learn and play all in one. A great feature is that as your child is ready to explore new android apps, you can add them to this tablet. That was a deciding factor for me as it will allow her to use the tablet with some of the other toys she will receive on Christmas morning!



2) Dance Code Belle
This is such a fun way to introduce your daughters to coding! They can create dances for Belle, and she will show them her moves! Control her from the app, press her necklace, or hold her hand for different ways to play with Dance Code Belle.

Coding seems like it would be hard, but girls as young as 5 can get in on the action by drawing the steps out, or a simple dot to dot style of coding. This is a great way to introduce a concept that may play a big role in her later life through an irresistible option!

Retailing for under $100 you can find this gorgeous Belle doll exclusively on Amazon this holiday season.



3) Baby Alive Sweet Tears Baby Doll
If your little girl loves babies this is the ultimate doll for her! Not only is it really adorable, but it also gives kids hands on tasks to make baby happy and smiling again! Your little one can play caregiver to a very interactive doll that smiles, giggles and even cries real tears!

The Sweet Tears Baby Alive comes with so much more than just a doll! She comes with everything you need to nurse her back to health when she is ill, feed her a snack, or brush her hair. One of my favorite features is that this doll isn't just for little girls. With a simple flip of a switch you can take your interactive doll from mommy to daddy mode for fun for little boys. Sweet Tears Baby Alive can make 35 phrases and sounds as an added bonus!

Retailing for under $50 this is a super fun gift option for little ones that love dolls!



4)  Play Doh Letters and Language Set
This is such a fun way to combine play and learning! The set has 26 letter stamps, 6 cans of play doh, a stylus, a roller, a mat  and a guide book for a complete letter learning experience.

One of the reasons we love play doh is it is such a wonderful tool for fine motor skill development. Harp has been playing with the classic dough since she was about a year old, and has developed so many crucial skills for life with the squishy dough in her hands, including using scissors. As we are learning all about the alphabet and making a lot effort on letter recognition in her preschool years this is a set that will bring her so much more than fun on Christmas day. It will help her build on a solid foundation of early learning with a favorite play time staple.

Retailing for under $20 this is a gift I recommend to anyone shopping for an early learner!



5) Go Go Smart Friends Shimmering Seashell Castle
This fun playset is perfect for little ones that like mermaids! The sandcastle features 3 points that when Pearl the mermaid is placed will produce fun sounds and phrases. The set includes friends for Pearl the mermaid to make playtime an epic underwater adventure.

Retailing at under $40 this is a great V tech toy for dramatic play and discovery. I love dramatic play tools for Harp so this was a natural choice. She will play with this in so many ways and I know she will introduce Pearl and the underwater friends to a lot of other toys.

This set features so much more than just a cute house. There is a vanity, a slide, a carrousel and so many more fun features to make this an exciting choice for little ones!


6) Hape Toys City Cafe Play Kitchen
This is a seriously adorable little kitchen. I love that it is wooden, because it looks so much more realistic than the heavy plastic varieties. It is compact enough for small space play, but in that tiny space it packs a lot of fun!

Featuring everything your little one needs to cook up a great time, the City Cafe Play Kitchen is one of my favorite gift ideas this year. As I mentioned above, I love to encourage dramatic play in my preschooler. With something as simple as a cute little kitchen, she can learn in so many ways!

This was a great option to pair with our Hape toys play food that we have been collecting over the years. Retailing for under $100, this is a gift that will bring years of learning through play.



7) Hape Toys Mighty Echo Microphone
This was another great choice for dramatic play. My kids have always wanted to get their hands on a microphone and with this choice it is possible without damaging eardrums or sanity levels.

This microphone has amazingly good sound quality for a battery free toy! I think it is a fun way to encourage kids to sing and again, engage in dramatic play. This makes a great gift for kids 12 months and up.

This would make a great stocking stuffer or gift exchange option as well.



8) Voice Activated BB8 
If your little girl looks up to Rey, then the natural choice is the Voice Activated BB8 from Hammacher Schlemmer. This is such a fun toy! Standing at about 19" tall this cute little robot is ready for adventure! The Star Wars character can be controlled using an included 40' range remote or set to an interactive mode that responds to voice commands such as “Come here”, “Where’s Rey?”, and “Stand guard!” Complete with lights and sounds from the BB8 we all know and love, this is a one of a kind toy that will make Christmas dreams come true as she sets out on an adventure with her new interactive friend. Retailing at under $230 this is the perfect gift for Star Wars fan girls of all ages. Not only is the BB8 droid adorable but he is so interactive! his moods are funtastic and the sounds are completely realistic.

I would love to hear what your favorite gift options for girls are this year!