2016 Kids! Holiday Gift Guide

This Christmas, I decided that it was important to not go overboard with spending. I picked a few items for my “Kids! Holiday Gift Guide” that your children will absolutely adore. Here is my rule of thumb, choose one thing in each category: start with something that they want, something that they need, something to wear, plenty to read, something that they take time to create or make, a treat to eat & a little something extra. From my Carseat Dancers to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas! 

Happy shopping!

❤️Jen

P.S. Please feel free to shop directly by clicking directly on each blue link.  


1. Coin Purse – $14.99

Relic Caraway Zip Penguin

My girls enjoy spending their own money on the items on their wish list. And when they are not spending, you’re  teaching them to SAVE. This cute little coin purse is the perfect gift for any child. Be sure to give it with a little bit of cash inside.

❄️
2. Shopkins Snack – $ .47

Shopkins Shortbread Cookie Bites

Anything Shopkins is all the rage. Your  little cutie will love this snack. Santa could add a bag to their stocking. Yum!

❄️
3. Usborne Books Set – $119.99

Shine-a-Light Series 

All kids enjoy books that are interactive. The books in this series allow children to shine a flashlight behind the page, or even hold it up to the light, to reveal what is hidden in and around different places. This series encourages children to READ & discover a world of great surprise all while learning along the way. So fun!

❄️
4. Fairy Door- $24.99

Irish Fairy Door

A perfectly darling fairy door that comes with a magical key can be placed at the base of a wall indoors or outdoors against a tree as a sign of welcome for fairies—when the key disappears, the fairy has arrived! A charming gift for those who will forever believe in fairies. 

❄️
5. Custom Dress- $52.00-ish

CourtneyCourtney Dress

Have you ever had the most comfortable concert T-shirt?  Or perfectly soft piece of clothing… something that you wish you could wear on the daily? Creator, seamstress, Courtney has hit the jackpot with the sweetest dresses EVER! My daughters and niece all have her birthday dresses & ADORE them! Check out her whole line. You will want them all! ❤️

❄️
6. Kid’s t-Shirt – $21

Regulators Mount Up 

The T-shirts in the Saturday Morning Pancakes collection are hilarious. “Things that make you go hmmm…” and bring you back to those earlier years. 

❄️
7. The Shrunks Trampoline Pool – $99

Trampoline

Say what!?! Two products in one! As a trampoline, the sturdy construction features a jumping area measuring 50 inches in diameter. To use it as a pool, simply flip it over! Great exercise and great fun. The best “babysitter” ever! LOL! 😂

❄️
8. Lego Classic Set – $40

Legos

With this sweet Lego set your kids can be creative and build what they want. 

❄️
9. Tsukihoshi Sneakers – $59.95

Rainbow Tennis Shoes

Cool breathable tennis shoes with barefoot comfort are all the rage. My kids love the idea of Velcro & no tie laces for easy on easy off. Every kid could use a pair of the perfect sneakers. 

 

Tips & Tricks to Show Your DisneySide @ Home

Our family adores everything Disney and as a Disneyland Passport holder we are regularly displaying our Disney Side there. But why should you have to leave your Disney Side at the parks? Our celebration, as shown here, can easily be duplicated with just a few tips , tricks & Disney Magic.

When I heard that I could host a Disney Side @Home Celebration for family and friends my girls and I squealed with glee! Disney is more than just a place, it’s a magical feeling… one that you can share, at home. 20150222-100202-36122433.jpg
I received an exclusive Disney Side Princess Party Kit filled with all of the necessary party planning tools needed to spread our Disney magic, at home. And with just a pinch of Pixie Dust and imagination our Valentine’s Day Disney Side Princess Party was a ROYAL success.

Photo Tip: Squat down at your child’s level for a better shot.

My girls were eager to open the box, get started with the guest list and create handmade invitations for their fellow princess friends.

Tip: Allow your kids to help decorate the invitation. I made a prototype that my five-year-old could easily copy.
20150309-172352-62632839.jpg
Let’s Party!
Valentine’s Day 2015
20150309-172452-62692582.jpg
10 little Princess were invited to join in the festivities. We had sweet plans for our Princess Brunch. 20150309-192128-69688425.jpg Our dining table was covered with an array of princess decorations. We had Sophia the First snack bowls, napkins, placemats, cups and plates on the cutest Sophia the First tablecloth. The centerpieces were delightful… surrounding them, we placed our collection of princess toys.

Decorating Trick: It’s fun to incorporate the toys that you already have.

In the mix we displayed the prizes and party favors. Each girl went home with a little something special. Our Disney Side @Home Celebration Kit came chalk full of goods for the At-Home-Princess.
20150309-182738-66458761.jpg
The Palace Pets were a huge hit!
20150309-182912-66552952.jpg & Lucky us, the owner of Pegatopia sent over some of her adorable, hand painted, peg Princess dolls as prizes too. Check out her adorable Etsy shop! 20150309-183304-66784254.jpg
Our takeaway favors included a plastic princess cup (I bought the cups for $1 at Target.) overflowing with goodies! Complete with a lipgloss, nail polish & nail file, stickers, tiny Disney Princess themed heart-shaped-candy box, tiara, pencil and wand.

Party Favor Tip: Place take away items in something that guests can look at and remember over and over when used. i.e. Cup
20150309-183437-66877163.jpg We served breakfast treats for even the most picky of princesses.
On the Menu:
❤️ Pastries
❤️ Olaf Noses (Mini Carrots)
❤️ Fresh Fruit
❤️ Princess Punch
20150309-173544-63344344.jpg
💛 Twinings Tea for the moms. My fave was “Nightly Clam.” Shhh… I had a second helping when the party was over. One lucky mom went home with a box of teas.

Guest Tip: Moms of partygoers love a little attention too!
20150309-174407-63847654.jpg
Let the games begin!
With a slight amount of preparation, all of our guest princesses had a ball playing these games:
💛 PinThe Smile on Mickey
💛 Disney Parks BINGO
💛 Fortune Tellers
💛 FROZEN Bowling
20150309-190912-68952034.jpg 20150309-191006-69006869.jpg
Our day came to a close after a stroll through the wildflowers.

Trick: Add an element of the outdoors to your party and create a carefree full-circle ending to their magical day. 20150309-191947-69587373.jpg 20150309-191946-69586979.jpg Lastly, an Ode to the fabulous Sleeping Beauty. Clearly, my preschooler had a dreamy day. 20150309-192407-69847678.jpg
Cheers to celebrating your Disney Side @Home!
❤️ Jen
20150309-204752-74872132.jpg
Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate a Disney Side @Home Celebration, with the expectation that I would share this experience with my readers. All expressed opinions are strictly mine.

Blueberry Muffins // Failure

We made {just-add-water to the box mix} Blueberry Muffins

Problem: I think the can of blueberries had fermented. OOPS!
I don’t know what I was thinking. 20140119-100123.jpg
The final product tasted like MOONSHINE!
Delaney 4: “Mommy, vis is bisssGUSTING!”
#foodFAIL

Does anyone have a recipe that they love and are willing to share?
Like, one from scratch… with fresh blueberries.
Please post your link here.

Cheers to successful baking!
❤ Jen

Thanksgiving Leftovers? // Ham & Northern Beans // Recipe

I’m sure you’ve found yourself, like the rest of the world, with leftovers the day after Thanksgiving. Our family’s menu included a juicy turkey and delicious ham. Needless to say, we had a mother load of leftover ham, perfect for my Mom, “Mema’s,” tasty stew. This process started early this morning. Oh, how the aromas danced through the air. MmmMmmm…
20131129-215603.jpg We started with this…
20131129-190218.jpg
add a little of this… 20131129-190317.jpg & a pinch of that… 20131129-190338.jpg Perfection!
20131129-215510.jpg
Cheers to family!
❤️Jen

Our Day in The Hamptons

Ahhh… Living the Hampton lifestyle {for a day} was one that will be engraved in my memory forever. I’m from southern California and the beach is our home away from sweet home. But, I found myself intrigued by the lovely Dune Road and all of the tranquil beauty of The Hamptons. 20130712-082603.jpg
We ended up window browsing down Main Street with shop after shop filled with wonderful trinkets. My purchase of the day was this lovely Mermaid ring. 20130712-083310.jpg
{LOVE}
20130712-192113.jpg

Then finished our Westhampton visit with a sweet treat and lovely view from their local Beach Bakery Cafe. 20130712-085326.jpg

What’s one special trinket that you picked up on a past trip?

Cheers spending your day in The Hamptons!
20130712-085551.jpg

1st Annual Tour de Fork // Foodie Fieldtrip

If you missed the spectacular 1st Annual Tour de Fork held on Thursday, June 20th from 6-8pm at Victoria Gardens be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for next year’s festivities. This event, benefitting: DiscoverIE, Rancho Cucamonga Library Foundation & Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce {Wow! All proceeds were donated to these local charities!} was the perfect “Date Night” for foodies. Guests tantalized their senses while sampling an array of tasty fare, lovely wines and craft beer {Oh, the hops and vines!!!} all while listening to jazzy tunes. Awww… the ambiance.
20130625-125248.jpg
{Pictured above: Magic Lamp Inn Steakhouse & Hangar 24 Craft Brewery}

Participating Restaurants:
Corner Bakery California Pizza Kitchen Crepes de Paris Johnny Rockets {Thanks for the FREE Kid’s Meal Coupon!} King’s Fish House
T.G.I. Friday’s P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que {Yummy Banana Puddin’! Going tonight!} Slater’s 50/50 {Wow! Their Bacon Burger!}
20130625-132237.jpg
{Pictured above: SoCal Foodies, King’s Fish House (I don’t “do” oysters on the 1/2 shell like my blogging buddy Desiree but, I do want to add that the atmosphere of this booth was fantastically fishy.) & Craft Brewing Co.}

Special Guest Restaurants:
Antonino Italian Restaurant and Bar Haandi Indian Cuisine {OMG! Their Jasmine Rice and Curry Chicken.} Aria Restaurant and Lounge Magic Lamp Inn Steakhouse [N7] Creamery {Drooling! My taste buds are still craving their Salted Caramel. Mmm… mmm!}
20130625-131825.jpg
Craft Beer:
Craft Brewing Co. Dale Bros. Hangar 24 Craft Brewery Packing House Brewing
Inland Empire Brewing Company

Wineries:
Joseph Filippi Winery The Wine Tailor Galleano Winery San Antonio Winery
I adore wine and found all of the selections delicious. {I did have a favorite.}
20130625-125629.jpg

20130625-134630.jpg {4 out of 5 stars awarded, by me, for my experience.}
Overall, my time spent mingling, munching and sipping at the Tour de Fork was great. I’d only recommend a couple of minor adjustments for the 2nd annual.
* Add at least 1 more hour to the event. {Patrons felt a tad rushed at the end and the lack of time left our pallets wanting more.}
* Have a minimum of 3 bands sprinkled throughout the pathway of treats and libations.
{The music truly helped make this an experience to remember.} Recommendation: I’ve heard the acoustic rock of Strangebrew at Hangar 24 Craft Brewery recently. They, along with another would be a great addition.
* Offer a couple of different price points for tickets as $50 was a bit high. {Although 100% of proceeds was for charity. By the way, pure AWESOMENESS!}

Can’t wait for next year!

For more information & photos head to Twitter & search: #tourdefork #victoriously @victoriagardens

Cheers!
20130625-150200.jpg