Category Archives: Holidays

Some More Christmas Ideas

Earrings– What girl doesn’t love a new pair or two to dress up the New Year? I love 1928 brand! There are even lead-free options out there. Who knew?!christmas pickearrings

A new watch– The good news is the person you gift it to will be able to show it off at New Year’s countdowns!

A good book- There are so many out there to choose from. My personal favorite of all time, Little Women. For the men, maybe The Count of Monte Cristo would be a better choice?

christmasdowtonabbeyDowton Abbey– Apparently it’s all the rage and on sale today!

What is on your Christmas list?


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Help Us Make a House a Home

In short: if you are planning to make Christmas or any purchases through Amazon please go through this link and shop away. It’s no additional cost to you and I receive a small commission on whatever you purchase. WIN-WIN!

In long….

We are currently living in our 5th home and 3rd country since getting married 3 years ago. Whew! Soon we’ll move to a flat that I really, really hope to make home for some time. You know what I keep telling Scott concerning this home? I want a home I don’t have to apologize for. As newlyweds it’s pretty normal to have a house full of hand-me-downs, mostly used items, and mismatching furniture. However, I said sorry too many times in the past few years for the tiny dining room table that wiggled when guests cut their chicken, or the bathroom that was freezing in the winter, or the cheap air mattresses that deflated on our friends and family in the middle of the night. We live in a culture that values hospitality, and I want to make sure that our home is also a home that values hospitality, but also a home I’m comfortable hosting others in.

I don’t need fancy or expensive or even something that’s all that great in many peoples’ eyes. I want a simple, clean, comfortable place that feels like home to us. I want six dining room chairs that match so we have more than 2 people over without some of us needing to eat on the floor! I’d like guests to have nice, soft, plush towels to dry off with (our old towels exfoliated our skin.) I’d love for my mother-in-law to sleep on a bed when she visits, not a thick mattress pad on the floor!

So, how can you help? Well, the good news is that in a very simple, and NO COST way, you can help us invest in some more fun things for our place. If anytime in the near future (i.e. Christmas, etc) you are planning to purchase something through Amazon, just enter the website through this page. Any purchases you make I will receive a small commission for, but it won’t cost you one extra penny! WIN-WIN!

And, when you come to visit us in Istanbul, I’ll have no excuse for mismatching sheets on your bed!

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My Christmas Picks- Ideas for your holiday shopping

Did you know that Christmas is less than 3 months away?! Ellie and I rocked out to Celine Dion’s Christmas this morning. Ah how I do love the holidays! In case you are searching for some ideas for those you love, here are some of my picks.*

For Mamas:

Kindle: I never thought I’d read for fun again after I had Ellie. I’m happy to report I was wrong. You may or may not have read my blog post on how I feel about my Kindle, but it’s the best gift for a mom in my opinion. Who has two hands to keep a paper back open anyway?

Spirit-led parenting– My favorite book to date on being a mother with a baby. I felt that every other book I read tried to force myself and my baby in a box, and this one was the one that was a breath of fresh air. It was very encouraging, reminded me that I was the mama, to put all books down (ironically) and to pay attention to and love my baby. So refreshing!

Ergo– Ah! How do people live without these? Well, I suppose most people don’t live in a city of 18 million where the hills and curbs seem that they are out to get you rather than to help you. At any rate, love, love, love my Ergo. I enjoy having my baby near me, and she enjoys being up high and seeing the world the way I see it. I started using this after Ellie was 4 months. The pocket is especially helpful for this mama who also doesn’t want to lug around a purse.

Moby Wrap– I think I wore this daily for the first 3 months of Ellie’s life. It was sweet to have her so close and cuddly. She was a winter baby, and I was nervous about keeping her warm enough while outdoors. When on me, it was so easy to check on her and make sure she was happy as a clam. Also, baby wearing is much appreciated by your little ones in their first months outside their mama cocoon.

The Well-Trained Mind– A great book on classical education that gives you some pointers on how to start from birth.

White noise machine- Give the gift of sleep! Babies love white noise, and with this specific machine we enjoy the sounds of the ocean.

ABC blocks- Okay, I’m an educator, so please don’t be so shocked that I love these toys for my daughter. Melissa and Doug have tons of great ideas and options for toys.

Castile Soap– I prefer to avoid toxins in our house at all costs, and this is a great way to do it! This soap can be used for tons of different cleaning options including laundry detergent and body wash, so why not get it?!

Bio-kult probiotic– Okay, not exactly a Christmas gift, but a gift to your Christmas season for sure. I rarely get sick, but when I do, it’s when I’ve been eating tons of sugar and junk food. This pro-biotic will help you to maintain your health during this cold and flu season when germs are up and defenses are down. I take this daily year round, but up the dosage when I feel a bug coming on.

Books and Music

All In: From Refugee Camp to Poker Champ– Such a great true story about a guy who survived war and ended up being the 2007 World Poker Champ! I love happy endings.

Home Alone Christmas Album– My favorite Christmas Music CD of all time.


Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free products- If you’ll be doing any baking for gluten-free friends or family, I recommend this brand of flour. It’s my favorite. In fact, I don’t even feel like I miss gluten at all with this flour in my life.

* Disclaimer- If you purchase these products via my link I will receive a small commission with no additional cost to you. I would greatly appreciate it if you do intend to purchase these products if you do so through my page. Thank you!

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