What I Got for Christmas

What I Got For Christmas | Writing Between Pauses

A few days after Christmas, I ran a poll on Instagram about whether people like Christmas gift posts or not. The results were pretty much split in the middle: half said they hated them, half said they love them. I got quite a few messages asking that I still post. 

This is just going to be a fun little post, mostly a list. I'll be reviewing some of these things in separate posts, so if you see something you want more details either 1) let me know and 2) I'll either email you directly with info or tell you the date the post will be going up. See? Easy peasy! 

Let's get down to business! 

1. A fruit-themed box of Lush goodies

The gift set I got was the Bella Fruta, but from what I can tell, they change this set almost constantly. The set I got contains a Yuzu Bubbleroon, a Comforter Bubble bar, A Strawberry Feels Forever massage bar, an Avobath Bomb, Sympathy for the Skin lotion, and the Comforter shower cream. That's a lot of stuff! I was so excited to receive this because I've never really tried Lush products, but have always wanted to. And I love a nice, relaxing bath! 

2. A gift bag from Bath & Body Works

This is a gift I get regularly from my mother-in-law... it's one I come to expect and love! In this year's bag there was the bag itself (a large, sturdy tote), a Champagne Toast candle, a Winter Candy Apple hand sanitizer and lotion, a shea butter cream lotion in the Berry scent, an Aromatherapy Body Cream in Recharge (sage and mint), and an Aromatherapy Body Wash & Bubble Bath in Recharge. I've been obsessed with herb scents lately, so I'm very excited for the Aromatherapy products! 

3. More socks than I honestly know what to do with 

Last year while opening Christmas gifts, my husband and I had quite the crack up because everyone had gotten me socks. My mom got me socks; his mom got me socks; and Danny got me socks. In 2016, I got about 20 pairs of new socks alone. Danny was pretty worried that I would be mad because, seriously, who wants that many pairs of socks? But fortunately, I love socks. This year, he got me several pairs of new socks again (about 5 pairs) and I got two pairs from my mother in law... for a grand total of 7 pairs of socks. Needless to say, I have enough boot socks to last me an absolute lifetime. 

In case you think Danny only got me socks, he also got me a new heating pad (don't freak out, but I sleep with one) and a new pair of sweater leggings with pandas on them. 

4. Crossing a lot off my Christmas bucket list

I think the best gift I received (not to be an absolute cornball or anything) this year was the fact that I got to experience Christmas in a way I never have before. Going to Idaho to celebrate with Danny's family was hard because, obviously, I wish we could be with both our families every year! But it was really fun to have a new experience, something completely different, and to see how much fun Forrest had! As well, we had a white Christmas!! The first of my life! That's a great gift. 

What did you get for Christmas? 

A Sensible Gift Guide for: Toddlers

Have a friend with a toddler? (Is that friend me? I hope it's me.) It's really, really tempting to go crazy in the toddler clothing and toy aisles. Trust me, I know. 

But please, friends, I beseech you: don't load your loved ones with toddlers with toys and clothes. Guaranteed, their toddlers probably already have more than enough of both. I created this gift guide to give people without kids (or who have older kids) an idea of what to get for toddlers--besides clothes and toys! 

1. Decor items

Toddler rooms are in transition: it's no longer a nursery, everything is safety-proofed, and the crib has possibly transformed into a toddler bed. Ask parents what kind of decor the parents would like for the room and find something cool. I love this pillow from TJ Maxx and this wall art from Etsy

2. Books

Toddlers are getting right to the age where books are fun. (Forrest will sit for a long time, for him, looking at his books now, which is exciting.) If you can think of nothing else, a favorite book of yours from childhood is a perfect and thoughtful gift. And if you're totally not sure, a gift card to a (local!) bookstore is also perfect. 

3. Toy storage solutions

The toys, at a certain point, no matter how organized I am as a parent, get out of control. Cute, clever storage options are a great gift idea, especially if they can be used in the toddler's room. I love these stacking boxes from Target, but there are tons of options out there. 

4. Wooden toys

If you really, really want to buy toys, I encourage you to buy wooden toys. The less plastic, the better. These wooden stacking dinosaurs are perfect for young toddlers; they're educational, durable, and fun. 

5. Blankets

Forrest loves blankets and it feels like I'm always looking for one to give to him. When it doubt, a cute, cozy blanket is a great gift. Toddlers can use them in bed, for naps, or on the floor--or for cuddling up with their parents. It's more of a family gift, actually. 

8 Gifts I Got for Christmas (& the One I Still Want)

1. The Romanov Sisters, by Helen Rappaport. A few years ago, I was participating in that hilarious (and weird) past-time of clicking "Random Article" on Wikipedia until I found something interesting. I was still in college at the time and I was painfully bored (and probably listening to Bones on Netflix at the same time). I stumbled onto an article about a little-known Romanov relative and, from there, started reading about Anna Anderson, the most famous claimant to being an escaped Anastasia Romanov. Cue a year-long, secret fascination with the Romanov family, one that I kept close, but never allowed myself to indulge. I didn't believe any Romanovs survived the execution -- but I kinda wanted to. When I saw the Romanov Sisters on Amazon, I immediately want to read it; Danny got it for me for Christmas and I've read over half in two days.

2. A rainbow keyboard cover. Three years ago, my mom ordered me a neon pink keyboard cover for my Mac -- I used it for a long time, but it quickly became stretched out and bubbling. Probably because it was about $1. Danny ordered me this high quality, rainbow one and I love it so much. So much. 

3. Naked On the Run by Urban Decay. I've been a fan of the Naked palettes for a long time -- they aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I loved the original. I was very meh on Naked 2, but loved Naked 3 (even though I haven't bought it yet -- I love the rose gold colors though). When Naked on the Run came out, I knew it was right for me: the same price as an eyeshadow palette, but including a mascara, liner, and lip gloss, as well as two blushes. A girl can never have enough blushes. I love this palette. 

4. New leggings that are not black. I have an embarrassing habit of wearing black leggings everyday that I can get away with it. Which is almost everyday, actually. When Danny offered to buy me two new pairs of leggings (they were buy one get one $10 at American Eagle/Aerie), I couldn't say no -- but I didn't want to fall into my same old black leggings rut. I got a high-waisted light gray pair and a dark gray pair with silver cuffs. They are basically all I wore in Disneyland. 

5. An iPhone speaker that looks like a bean. It's less a speaker and more an amplifier; it works by cramming your iPhone into a hole in the top and hitting play. The little thing then amplifies the sound. It works amazingly well. It's neon pink and, like I said, shaped like a bean. I love it because it doesn't require batteries. I mean, I've been using a bowl to play my iPhone in the shower for a few months. 

6. New Minnie Mouse Ears. I arrived in Disneyland last week and suddenly realized I'd forgotten to pack my Minnie Mouse ears -- I have a classic black-and-red glittery pair that I bought during my honeymoon. Danny promised me a new pair, so I settled on what I call "disco ball Minnie" ears. I'm quickly becoming a crazy cat lady, except instead of cats, I collect Minnie Mouse ears. 

7. Shot Glasses. A few weeks ago, I said (woefully) to Danny that we owned no shot glasses. Lo and behold, Danny's mom sent us shot glasses for Christmas. Perfect. 

8. More Bath & Body Works stuff than you can shake a stick at. Every six month, Danny's mom sends me a bunch of Bath & Body Works stuff -- it's something I look forward to. I usually get a few candles, the free May or December bag, and some much needed Wallflower plug-ins. This year, Danny's mom didn't get online in time to get the free bag, but she still sent me a bunch of candles, a bunch of Christmas-scented lotion, soap, and body spray, and a super helpful little bag of body spray, body wash, and lotion that I used in Disneyland. 

So what's the one thing I'm holding out for?

You know how sometimes, you ask for something for Christmas or your birthday and every holiday in between but no one seems to really get how much you want that thing? For me, that's fair isle sweaters. I'm always sending people fair isle sweaters that I totally love and really want -- and you know what happens? They forget about them. Another year has passed with no fair isle sweater under the tree. Maybe next year my fair isle collection will grow.