Category Archives: Life

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide {2014}: For the dads

Gifts for Dads

By far, the hardest ones to shop for are the dads. What is it about them anyway? Is it because when they want or need something, they just go out and buy it themselves? Maybe that’s it. So practical, those dads. We’ve literally been saving these gift ideas for dads all year long. Here’s to hoping that a few of them will be a good fit for the dads in your life! (Good luck!)

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide for Dads

Collapsible Utility Bucket, Uncommon Goods, $30
Dads and buckets go together like, well, dads and buckets. Dads love buckets and they usually have quite a collection, if they’re like the dads in our life. But, does he have one that collapses? Very cool and bonus points if you fill it up with some fun stuff, like car washing supplies.

Solid Cologne Trio, Bawston & Tucker on Shoppe by Scout Mob, $42
If you’re dad loves to smell handsome, we think these little solid colognes are perfect for his stocking. Plus, the trio gives you three chances to find a scent he likes.

Totescarf, Wintercheck Factory on AhaLife, $48
You can’t see it well on the picture above, but this scarf has a hidden zippered pocket, making it a good gift for the dad who loves to tailgate.

European Sports Car Room Spray, Archer Men, $14
Now, we know the dad in our life would love this, especially since his European car lost that coveted scent, oh, about 30 years ago. Other manly scents available, including “Distillery” and “Hunting Lodge.”

Good Grips Silicone Razor Holder, The Container Store, $3
These little razor holders have “stocking stuffer” written all over them.

Picnic Plus Cooladio Tub Cooler, Amazon, $65
This collapsible cooler is super cool and will keep him from making endless trips to the cooler. Plus, it can easily be folded up  to keep in the trunk of his car for on-the-go cooler needs. Because those exist, in the Land of Dads.

Pints of Steel Set, Urban Outfitters, $18
Because dads love beer.

Popcorn Flight Carton, KuKuRuZa, $19
KuKuRuZa popcorn is one of our favorite gifts, especially if you have a dad that lives far away because they will ship for you! For the Flight Carton, you can pick SEVEN different flavors. (The Jalapeno White Cheddar is Josh’s favorite!)

Custom-Message Leather Wallet, Found by Nicki on Etsy, $40 (she’s local!)
A local friend sent us this suggestion (thanks, hs!) and we replaced the wallet we were previously going to feature for these gems! These are custom-made wallets for dad, with any message you’d like to include. Check out her entire shop — so many thoughtful, beautiful gifts to choose from… straight out of Bellingham!

Bamboo Calculator, West Elm, $24
Make him finally kick that TI-85 (from high school!) to the curb and upgrade his calculator to something a little more hip. If calculators are hip. Which they are when you’re married to an engineer.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t miss our other Holiday Gift Guides:
Gifts for Girls
Gifts for Boys
Gifts for Moms

Stay tuned for a gift guide favorites giveaway later this week! xo.

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide {2014}: For the moms

Gifts for Moms

It seems to me that moms are the easiest people to shop for, but maybe that depends on the mom! Here are some of my favorite gifts for the moms or for the gals in your life, AKA this is your shopping cheat sheet, guys!

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide for Moms

Love + Salt Beach Hair and Body Mist, Olivine Atelier, $10
I’ve heard the best things about this beach spray and at $10, this is a great gift for a girlfriend or a stocking stuffer. Beach spray works great on any hair type…

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix & Mae James Coffee Beans, Not Without Salt, $27
And, yum. Buy this cooking-making kit for mom and let her stash them away and eat them ALL BY HERSELF. You can also buy the cookie mix on its own (also available in white chocolate peppermint with vanilla salt for the holidays!), but I love the pairing with coffee. Two gifts in one!

Enamel Initial Cuff, C. Wonder, $48
Every, every, EVERY mom will love this initial cuff. Get her first or last initial. Or, the initial of one of her kiddos. Some letters are already sold out, so if you want one of these as a gift for the holidays, grab it now.

RainColor Boots, MUNY, $139
A friend pointed me in the direction of these boots (thanks, kc!) and I think they are so cool! They were initially funded via Kickstarter and if the mom in your life loves boots, these are a fun new addition to her collection.

Faribault for Target Wool Shawl, Target, $60
Everyone needs something soft for the holidays, don’t you think? Loving this stylish shawl as a gift for moms because it is size-free!

Women’s Reclaimed Down Scarf, Patagonia, $99
I have a lovely friend who is a bit Patagonia-obsessed (name withheld to protect the guilty) and she was kind enough to share one of her favorites for the gift guide. Each scarf is made from used Patagonia jackets from this limited edition collection.

TRIbella Wine Aerator, Amazon, $40
This gadget is my latest obsession, not only because it pours the wine in a very classy triple spout, but because, FINALLY, I don’t drip wine all over the counter top!

Phone Wallet, Erin Condren, $29
So many moms on-the-go just grab their wallet, keys and phone to run into the store or to grab the kids from school. These phone wallets are a must — she can slip some cash and a credit card along with her phone to keep her hands free for shoe-tying and grocery grabbing.

Small Weekender Bag, Kate Spade Saturday, $170
If you’re looking for a splurge gift for mom, consider one of these weekender bags from Kate Spade Saturday, their newest brand. This one is pretty cute, but you can also customize a weekender for her or get her a gift card to let her customize one for herself.

Emily McDowell Grocery Bag, Urban Outfitters, $24
I couldn’t resist adding this tote bag because it sums up motherhood so well, doesn’t it? Groceries and shit, where “shit” usually means someone’s left shoe, a dozen string cheese wrappers, school permission slips and art projects, that tube of lip gloss you’ve been searching for…. You get the idea.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t miss our other holiday gift guides:
Gifts for Dads
Gifts for Girls
Gifts for Boys

 Stay tuned for a gift guide favorites giveaway later this week!

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide {2014}: For the boys

bellingFAM Gift Guide for Boys

Boys, boys, boys. They can be the hardest ones to shop for, can’t they? Here are some of our favorite gifts for boys that we hope will be a hit this holiday season. A few of these are already beloved, Everett-approved toys in our house and a few are ones that he might find under the Christmas tree this year!

Gift Guide for Boys

Chase Wooden Taxi Cab, EllaMenoPea, $30
Everett has one of these gorgeous cars from EllaMenoPea and it’s one of his most prized toys. I love that it’s nice and big — I often try to steal it to put on his dresser, because it’s so cool as decor, but he always catches me and puts it back with his car collection! (Psst! EllaMenoPea is a Seattle company and all of their products are hand-crafted by a cool dad!)

Rock-Out Headphones, Pottery Barn Teen, $39 (on sale!)
These headphone from Pottery Barn Teen are a huge hit at our house. The girls both have them and Ev is next. They’re cool and useful and super sturdy, without looking like they’re made for little kids. Plus, they come with an extra long extension cord, which comes in handy often!

I’m Just Moon Walkin’ Tee, kate&jAMES, $24
You know we love our locally-based kate&jAMES! This is one of their newest tees and it’s a must-have for the little guys on your list… or the girls, for that matter!

Fish Bones Hat, Grom Squad, $23
I met this cool new brand at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas earlier this year and was so excited when they launched recently. It’s harder than you think to find cool hats for little guys and these are awesome!

Home Run Baseball Blanket, Teamees, $53 and up
This blanket has been on my Gift Brainstorms Pinterest board for ages and I’m just waiting to find the perfect little guy to gift one to. They make blankets for other sports, as well, and each blanket comes in multiple sizes.

The S’more the Merrier Campfire Set, The Land of Nod, $69
I’m obsessed with this for Everett because he absolutely loves to tend the campfires during the summer… and throw stuff in the fire. Same thing, right? Looks like it’s backordered until January now. Bummer!

Color the Earth Kit, Uncommon Goods, $25
A very cool gift for the boys who are a little older, this is a great gift to mail, since it comes deflated. Perfect for the kiddo with a touch of wanderlust…

Handtrux Backhoe, Amazon, $18
How innovative are these? Apparently, there is an entire TV show based around these hand shovels for kids. There are other versions available on Amazon, as well.

Star Wars Glowing Lightsaber Ice Pop Maker, Amazon, $35
While we’re not certain if these are a great gift idea or one that will have you yelling “stop touching your popsicles together!” they are still super fun. Maybe you should get these for someone else’s kid. That might be a better plan!

Ferry Boat with Mini Cars, Green Toys, $25
Everything from Green Toys is a favorite, but this ferry boat caught my eye. Josh and I joke that Everett loves to line up his cars so much that he’ll likely be that guy who waves the cars onto the ferry boats when he gets older. You know what I mean, right?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t miss our other holiday gift guides:
Gifts for girls
Gifts for moms
Gifts for dads

Stay tuned for a gift guide favorites giveaway next week!

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide {2014}: For the girls

bellingFAM Gift Guide for Girls Banner

If there is anyone on my holiday gift buying list that’s easy to shop for, it’s my girls. I could shop for Janie and Meg for hours and have an endless wishlist for them… that they don’t even know exists. Here are some of my favorite picks for gifts for girls!

bellingFAM Gift Guide for Girls

Glowing LED Memo Alarm Clock,, $15
This cool alarm clock has been on my Gift Brainstorms Pinterest board for ages and I think I’ll finally pick them up for the girls for Christmas this year. I can only imagine what they will write on there…

Cozy Cotton Robe, Pottery Barn Teen, $31 (currently on sale!)
These are so cute and the price is certainly right for a Christmas gift. I love that bold bright pattern. You might want to note that these come in teen sizes, not kid sizes, so order appropriately.

Show Horse Play Stable, Land of Nod, $29
This has Meg written all over it… and I suspect that if you have a daughter under the age of 10, it probably has her name written on it, too.

Sip Sip Tumbler with Straw,, $11 (currently on sale!)
Tumblers with lids and straws are such a great option for kiddos who have grown out of a sippy cup, but who aren’t quite ready for a lid-free drink. Loving this heart print for the girls and these would make a cute gift idea for friends, too.

Feeling Festive Nail Wraps, Jamberry Nails, $15 (Sommer is a local representative!)
Jamberry Nails are new to us, but they’re so fun and much easier than nail polish. I’m excited to tuck some in their girls’ stockings this year.

Cupcaking Kit, Cupcake Royale, $43
This kit is from our favorite cupcake shop in Seattle and being able to make them at home is such a guilty pleasure… for the kids. (cough, cough.)

Heart Chalkboard, Cost Plus World Market, $10
I spotted these when I was shopping a few weeks ago and nearly bought them for every girl we know. They’re even cuter in person.

Slush & Shake Maker, Zoku, $20
My girls would absolutely love these for whipping up a treat on their own and experimenting in the kitchen a bit. Plus, they’re a great price point for a holiday gift! (Buy it locally at Launching Success!)

Friendship Bracelet Temporary Tattoos, Tattly, $5 for a set of two
I’m obsessed with this website and you will be too. They have the coolest temporary tattoos (for adults, too!) and there are a ton of designs to choose from.

Carve-a-Stamp Kit, Yellow Owl Workshop, $30
For the girls who love to craft, this stamp-making kit is awesome. I love a good gift that will also keep my girls busy for more than 18-seconds.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t miss our other holiday gift guides:
Gifts for boys
Gifts for moms
Gifts for dads

Stay tuned next week for a gift guide favorites giveaway!

bellingFAM Approved: Kidstir Cooking Kits (Giveaway)

Over the years, we’ve tried a lot of subscription services at our house. You already know how I feel about my beloved Stitch Fix. And, I’ve been a Birchbox subscriber on-and-off over the years (I jump back on the bandwagon when my beauty supply stash runs low!). There have been a few kid-subsciptions that we’ve fallen in love with too, including the ill-fated Wittlebee for kids’ clothing and kid activity boxes that have provided a lot of crafty fun.

Kidstir Cookbook

So, when I heard about Kidstir via a friend (hugs to you A.), it peeked my interest. Kidstir is a kids’ cooking kit subscription that delivers a box of hand-picked, kid-friendly recipes, ingredients, cooking tools and related activities to your doorstep on a monthly basis. With each month you subscribe, your kids will continue to build their own cookbook binder, which will be filled with recipes they’ve made themselves.

Kidstir Kit

Right off of the bat, I fell in love with Kidstir because it came so nicely packaged and when I opened the box, I felt a little bit of glee. It was cute and thoughtfully put together and it screamed out to be a great gift to send to cousins or friends who live far away. The wow factor was immediate… and it lasted.

Kidstir sent us the Bake Me Happy Kit to try and besides all of the cute goodies that came in the box and that yummy chocolate from Soom Foods, what I thought was so special about Kidstir was that it got all three of my kids in the kitchen, working together to create the recipes. Janie, who is 10, took charge (of course), reading the recipes out-loud to the littler kids and calling out instructions. Meg, age seven, took on the task of gathering the ingredients we needed from around the kitchen and pantry. And, 4-year-old Everett went to work with the mixing… and the test-tasting. While they went to work with Kidstir, I sat back, jumped in when needed and simply enjoyed letting them take the reigns… until it came to clean-up time, naturally! Funny how quickly they disappear when I start filling the sink with hot, soapy water.

Kidstir Cooking Kits

We’re thrilled to partner with Kidstir for the holidays to bring you a fun holiday giveaway that will get you in the holiday spirit. One bellingFAM reader will win a Kidstir Winter Wonderland Kit and the personalizable Cookbook Binder to keep all of your Kidstir recipes and activities organized.

To enter to win the KIDSTIR WINTER WONDERLAND KIT & COOKBOOK BINDER, please click below to visit the giveaway on Rafflecopter:

// This giveaway has ended. Please click below, to see the winner! //

Giveaway Button

 (If you’ve never used Rafflecopter before, I promise that it’s easy and the BEST and safest way to enter a giveaway on a blog, as well as for me to run a giveaways on bellingFAM. No registration necessary. All of your information provided is kept private. Must be 18 or older to enter and win. All entries will be verified. U.S. residents only, please.)

Giveaway provided by Kidstir.
Products were provided for review.
No additional compensation was received.
All opinions are my own.

10 Tips for seeing Disney on Ice in Seattle

We had a great time going to the newest Disney on Ice production, Let’s Celebrate, last week at Everett’s XFinity Arena. This was Everett’s first time going (Josh’s too, come to think of it!) and he was amazed — every little piece of the show made his eyes grow wider. It’s pretty impressive in the eyes of a 4-year-old, when you think about it!

Here are a few tips that we’ve gathered from attending Disney on Ice shows for the past few years. While these tips apply specifically to the Seattle-area show at the XFinity Arena, most of them can also be applied to wherever you’re seeing Disney on Ice.

Disney on Ice Tips

1. Get tickets along a row with a rail
When you’re ordering tickets, try to get a row that is in between two sections so that you have a railing in front of your kids, not a person, sitting in a seat, who will likely have little feet kicking them all evening. We were in row eight, which was awesome. There really isn’t a bad seat in the house, since they shrink down the arena to fit the show, but the closer you can get to the ice, the better, of course.

2. Don’t get there too early
Waiting with kids can be torture. Waiting with your kids before they’re about to see their favorite Disney characters takes things to a whole new depth. We were in our seats 20-minutes before the show started and it was about 10-minutes too long. For the kids and for us.

3. Grab street parking
There is plenty of free street parking around the arena… take advantage of it! We usually troll the side streets on the north side of the arena and have always found a spot less than two-blocks away.

4. Feed your kids first
This is obvious, right? There is food available at the arena — think typical stadium-style food… and prices — but filling your kids up with food before you go would be a good idea, especially since the moment the show comes on, there is no way they’re sitting still to eat!

5. Be prepared for the stuff
And, by “stuff,” we mean everything Disney under the sun. Shirts and stuffed animals and snow cones in commemorative cups and photo opps and ohmygoddness so much stuff. Make a plan before you go — either make it clear to your kiddos that you aren’t doing “stuff” or let them know they have a dollar limit or that they can pick one thing or whatever works for your family. Just be prepared. Because it’s in your face for the entire show (even when you’re in your seats) and it’s everywhere. Also, bring cash. Some vendors don’t take credit cards and it’s much quicker, too.

6. Pee before you sit down
Another obvious, yet not-so-obvious tip. The bathroom lines for the short intermission are LONG and each mom usually has at least two kids. That’s a lot of peeing. If you have Dad with you, send the kids to the bathroom with him. The lines are 100x shorter.

7. Find the beer
They have beer. Find your closest beer location before you get to your seats and make sure you have a parent-to-parent hand signal in place for when you need a refill.

8. Get to your seats on time
When we were there, a family of 15 (I kid you not), was trying to find their seats, directly in front of us, for the first five minutes of the show. My kids nearly rioted, as did the kids all around us. Don’t be a jerk, get to your seats when they give the warning announcement.

9. Don’t worry about your kids bugging people
If there was ever a time to let your kids jump up and down, scream, dance and talk in an outside voice, this is it. They encourage kids to get up and move to enjoy the show and you can feel free to let them. Everyone is doing it and nobody cares. It’s the best.

10. Sneak out a side door
When the show is over, getting out of that arena is killer. Instead of heading back to the front doors, where you entered, find a set of super-tall stairs that lead outside and hike out that way. They’ll likely put you further from where you parked, but it’s worth it go avoid the bottleneck in the arena hallways… with kids in tow.

To find the next performance in the Seattle area, or the area local to you, visit the Disney on Ice website. Psst! Tickets for Disney on Ice Frozen go on sale in January for the November 2015 shows… might want to mark your calendar!

photo and tickets courtesy of feld entertainment.
no additional compensation received.
all opinions are my own.

Katie Loves This: Edition 5

Another Monday, friends! Did you have a good weekend? I spent it shopping in Seattle with eight buses packed full of 400 women. I can now officially serve mimosas in a moving bus without spilling. I think I’ll put that on my resume. Although, I did fall into the lap of one of the ladies, so, maybe I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.

Here are some favorites from the past week… What are you loving?

Katie Loves This- Edition 5

I almost, almost bought these DV by Dolce Vita sneakers at Nordstrom this weekend, but I needed an 8-1/2 and they were going to have to order them for me, so I passed. But, I love them. A lot. Santa, are you listening?

These feather gift tags caught my eye on Pinterest and, as it turns out, they are a free printable from Love vs. Design. Confession: I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to gift wrapping ideas.

Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? I’m obsessed with their Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps and will happily eat an entire box in one sitting. (There isn’t THAT much in there, really.) I love them with a little goat cheese on top. Seriously. The entire bag. Yum.

I love this DIY Thanksgiving Table Runner. I spotted it on Pinterest and finally hunted down the original post on Spoonful of Imagination. Maybe we’ll get our own table runner started this year with the kiddos. Because that’s exactly what I need in the midst of cooking Thanksgiving dinner… kids with paint on their hands.

Katie Loves This: Edition 1. October 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 2. October 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 3. November 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 4. November 2014.

have something for me to love? send me an email! i’d love to hear about it! xxoo.