This is the time of year when I start stressing.

I mean, Thanksgiving is over so that means we all just start standing in a traffic jam of stress: get the Christmas cards out, buy presents galore, bake everything under the sun, buy more presents, figure out neighbor gifts, deck the halls, etc.

I have many friends who are done.  The lists are checked off.  I am not the kind of girl who starts Christmas until December but this year I am determined to start early so I can join my organized friends to soak up the spirit of it all a little better.

I am not a Black Friday shopper.  I’m an online shopper.  Oh how I love having those little boxes show up on my doorstep without doing anything more than lifting a couple fingers to tap some keys on my computer.  And since I often get asked to list my favorite things on the blog, I thought I’d better share some of those favorites that come online, cause we could all save a little time at the store, right?


We really like to play games in our family.

Here are some of the favorites:

Lu’s fav. that goes without saying is any kind of memory game.  And I love that our whole family can play.

The last one we bought is here:
Dr. Seuss Matching Game but I love this classic looking one here
even more.

Our family LOVES Rummikub.  And our friends do too.

We honestly play this every chance we get…such a good thinking game.  Claire’s getting pretty good at it I must say.  Click here
to see more info.

Whenever we get together with friends the boys pull out Ticket To Ride.  I have yet to play that game, but I’m telling you, it keeps those guys mesmerized for HOURS.

Our family also loves Ladder Ball.

And when I say “our family,” let’s just go ahead and clarify that I mean “the-coordinated-ones-in-our-family” because it’s a little teeny bit harder when you have not an ounce of coordination in your body like me.  Although I must admit I did beat Dave on one round before.  It was pure luck but it was a highlight of my life I tell you;)  Ladder Ball sure makes for a fun competitive game.  See all different kinds of sets you can get here.

Another game that keeps the boys occupied for hours is bocce ball.  They play it constantly at the beach and it seems like it’d be a great family reunion game.

Lots of info. and reviews here.

Speaking of that, I had a whole bunch of people ask where we got the frisbees for this game I talked all about back here (New Years last year).

They belong to our friends, but I think I found what I’m pretty sure they were over here.  There are some more colorful ones here
.  Maybe I need to get those for next year at our family reunion…

For Dave, these are some of his favorite things:

Since he is a runner, he adores these Amphipod things here.

He also loves something called slingbox
because when he is out of town, even in China, he can tune into our television at home to catch his favorite football games.  I have no idea how that sucker works, but boy howdy, it’s worth it’s weight in gold to him.

Max‘s favorite things would be these:

Since sometimes he gets in exercising mode, he has used these CD’s more than anyone else in the fam:

…and he looks just like Tony when he does it too 🙂

For years we have been at-home-workout-people (until I started going to this little gym last year, but I still do this when I can with Dave and Max).  It’s an investment, but so worth it for good health in my book.

For reviews and more info. click here

Max was pretty darn happy to get his longboard that actually made his room decor:

(click here
to see that one…but our kids really like Sector 9 longboards best…and they hold up longer)

And he loves his New Age Classical Piano Solos Volume II (like, seriously, a boy teenager likes music).  He practices out of that book on the left below all the time.  

I think he’s so inspired by the Piano Guys.  Who wouldn’t be when you hear something like this.  Man I love Jon Schmidt…can’t wait for his concert again this year.

Max also loves his penny board he got for his birthday last year.

Elle‘s fav. things to yearn for would be these:

Bubble Necklace Chunky, Jade (she’s been eying that and it is a great price)

She also wants one of these headbands she borrowed from a friend:

They sell them on Etsy here and here.

…ok and I can’t think of anything else for her right now.  I think teenage girls are the toughest because man alive they are picky.

At least mine is.

Grace‘s fav. picks:

Speaking of hair accessories, she wants one of these awesome knitted headbands
, but alas, it really doesn’t get cold enough here to use them.

She doesn’t know what she would do without her bike basket.

Wald Standard Bicycle Lift Off Basket

She is dying for these things for dance that she calls “toe-endies.”  Apparently they work wonders when you’re doing lyrical dance with bare feet.  Click here
to see what in the world I’m talking about.

Claire‘s fav. picks:

American Girl doll accessories

Claire is totally turning into a book worm too (either that or she’s really trying to suck up to me cause she knows I love when my kids read books :).

She’s super into “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books right now which I’m sorry if I offend, but I really don’t like.

My favorite children’s books are over here …and some of the best books for me are here.

Lu‘s fav. picks:

Disney Princess Ariel Soft Doll — Claire gave it to her last year and she’s still her very fav. toy in the whole wide world.

In fact, she is actually a “sister” according to Lucy.

This coloring unicorn was such a hit last year.  We all spent some time coloring it over the holidays.

We got it at Walmart.  But if you can’t find it there, there are some other cool coloring things here:

My Very Own House Cottage

and here:

Discovery Kids Color Me Play Castle

Of course, with Lu you could never go wrong with any kind of figurines too.

Check them out here:
Disney Princess Figurines

For the artists out there, my Mom sent Lu this art kit for her birthday and she adores it.

More details about it here.

And with that, I need to get busy and go check off some of my lists.  Happy shopping!

Similar Posts


  1. If you don't already own it, "Spot It" would be a great game for Lucy. It is a matching game but a little faster paced than Memory and there are many different ways to play the game. We got it last year for Christmas and we love it. I bought it from Amazon.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing the link for my headbands! Teen girls also LOVE the jersey wrist cuffs that we sell in our Sweet Sparrow Design shop that match the headbands. They come in 2 styles! New follower here now:) Thanks so much!

  3. I have a random question for you. When you are reading parenting (and other) books, how do you keep track of quotes and other great ideas you find? Do you keep some kind of a reading journal or notebook? I know I've seen that you fold over the page of a book and write notes in the margins but, what about with a library or borrowed book?

  4. Thanks for the great list! I too am trying to be done early so I can enjoy the season. I got some great ideas – thank you! I am not a huge game girl, but I tried Ticket to Ride this summer and was completely hooked. It's on my list for the kids! Happy Christmas shopping.

  5. My son LOVES Diary of the Wimpy kid books too, and I also am not a big fan. But he has a hard time reading and when he discovered those books he stayed in his room reading them all one after another for an entire week. How could I say no to that? Whatever gets him reading I guess (within reason of course). Anyways, I don't know about the other Wimpy kid movies, but we went and saw, "Dog days of Summer" in the theaters for his birthday and it was actually pretty cute. I liked it alot. No deep meaning, but silly, funny and not as bad as I expected it to be.

  6. Our family LOVES Ticket to Ride! My mom asks every one of the kids to bring their game so that we can have multiple games going on at once, since every single adult and child wants to be included!

    My brother also uses slingbox! They live in China right now, so my parents have the slingbox hooked up and they can watch any tv shows they want from here. I even sometimes logon and watch their DVR'd shows 🙂

  7. Shawni,

    Did you see that they have a Ticket to Ride INDIA on Amazon? I thought that would be an awesome idea for your kids from your trip this last summer. Great one to play now and stash in Max or Elle's keepsake box! Have a great holiday! Our family still loves following yours. Our little girls just know they would all be friends! Maybe someday!

  8. My son is 9 and also loves "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." I can't say I'm a huge fan either, but I still let him read them. There is one called "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Do it Yourself" that my son got at a book fair. Here is the description of the book from the author:

    “First of all, let me get something straight: This is a journal, not a diary.”

    This innovative interactive journal based on Greg Heffley’s own “diary” lets kids express themselves in an exciting new way. In Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book, kids will be asked: What was the best dream you ever had? The worst thing you ever ate? The best secret you ever heard? The most trouble you ever got in for something that wasn’t even your fault to begin with? This Do-It-Yourself Book features art throughout, along with ruled and blank pages for readers to create their own stories, keep their own diaries, and record their favorites and least faves. Includes a bonus full-color comics section featuring the collected cartoons of Greg Heffley and his best friend, Rowley.

    My son name his "Diary of an AWESOME kid". I think it will be really fun to go back and read in 20 years…actually I love reading it now too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *