Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Love & That Powdered Sugar Thing & KC's Rap // Obviously a Must-Read

Today marks KC and I's third wedding anniversary! Where has the time gone?!?!

First, I am going to get a little sappy....
Then, I am going to reveal the 'Powdered Sugar' thing.... 
Lastly, I will share KC's ridiculously silly rap song 'Anniversary Girl' that he wrote and performed for me last year.... - yeah, it really happened... haha :)


This guy is the best.

He may come off as serious and super smart (which he certainly is!), but he is also incredibly funny and light hearted. He's punny, he's nerdy, he's full of Gilmore references now, he certainly knows how to make me laugh when I need it the most. I hope that more people get to see this side of him in the future.

Not only is he funny, he is so selfless and considerate. He continually thinks of others above himself, he works hard to make our relationship his first priority, he treats my family like his own, he sacrifices as much as he can to make his relationships with everyone he knows better. This is so rare. Especially today, he's a great friend and an incredible listener. He always has a good plan and solution to a problem too.

He's handy. He built a crazy cool cat tree for Duchess, and then revamped it for further stability. He helped me build a mug rack for the wall in our apartment, and boy can he open a jar... ;) hehe. He takes care of car stuff, he knows some HTML, he's way better at playing games with Duchess....

Together we make a good pair, and we've had the best time over the past three years of marriage, and nearly eight years together. So many adventures had, and many more coming.

As much as I could continue this.... for years... I will not. But if you would like just a tad more you could read this.

Powdered Sugar:

If you read yesterday's post.... you may have tried to guess what my surprise gift was....

This is a tough one.... it took me a bit to get it too... here's the decode!

Did you guess it?!

That's right! We're headed back to NOLA this weekend to celebrate our anniversary!! -I'm floored and so excited! A big thank you to my love.... ! 

And another big thank you to my in-laws for our Christmas gift of plane tickets, and my grandparents-in-law for their time share points. :) This is such a sweet gift from all of you!

'Anniversary Girl' - to the tune of LFO's 'Summer Girls'

Short Preface: we think this song is hilarious in all of it's '90's brilliance, and the fact that the rap is really, really, really bad, and makes absolutely no sense. So this was HILARIOUS when KC rapped it to me, but with words about our first two years of marriage... re-reading it has me cracking up!

Anniversary Girl

Yeah...I'd like to wish my wife happy.. annivers'ry
Do you remember, Do you remember?...what we did..those two years??

We got on a cruise, went to Canada,
Ate at La Familia
And we moved into a big brand new apartment, new apartment.
I like you and all of your thrift store fashions
And I also think you have great buns
And we've been married two years...for two years.

[Verse 1:]
Alt-j, Celtic Woman, and Bastille
I met you at Baker and it was fo real
You're the best girl that I ever did see,
Instead of pickup lines I used Chemistry
Batman fought a villain by the name of Bane
You like books by Austen comma Jane
When we go to Target they all know our names
When we wait for breakfast I will make up games
Watchin' Gilmore Girls, that is time well spent
In my belly button you can find some lint
You work at preschool and not at day care
Andy Brown sang in the movie Hair
We get cheese sticks from our good friend Rudy
"I see you baby" when you shake that booty
When I met you I said my name was Kyle
And all I wanna do in life is make you smile.


[Verse 2:]
Freddy's fries, Five Guys, homemade cookie
Laugh when Snoop Dog raps about "Aw, Sookie"
Always been happy to pop your back
When I clean up, I just make a stack
Love Downton Abbey and then Dawson's Creek
I play Magic but you say I'm not a geek
You come from Perry where the corn cobs grow
Make population jokes 'cause it is so low.
You love Starbucks and TJ Maxx
Steak 'n Shake takes forever when they make our snacks
There was a good man named Lucas Danes
I met you one day and my whole world changed
You love Pinterest and Instagram
Sandia Mountain view from a cable tram
When I met you I said my name was Kyle
And all I wanna do in life is make you smile.


Man, my wife she's got it going on,
Shake and wiggle to Christina's songs
My wife's the only woman I could ever love,
She's like an angel, came down from above 

[Verse 3]
Watch the Teenage Witch and Game of Thrones
Spend lots of time comparing our two skin tones
Been to a lot of concerts that smelled like pot
I used a bent coat hanger to fix our sink clot
You don't like neon colors or American cheese,
Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, or Duck Dynasty
Sometimes you crave apple juice
You hate Kevin Bacon, and you hate Footloose
Cat by the door I said it before,
I think I'm always lovin' you
And I'm totally sure
When I met you I said my name was Kyle
And all I wanna do in life is make you smile.


Other people they come other people they go
Some are worth while and some are so so,
Other people they come other people they go
Some are worth while and some are so so,
Man, my wife she's got it going on,
Shake and wiggle to Christina's songs
My wife's the only woman I could ever love,
She's like an angel, came down from above.


Well... there you have it bahah I love this fella, and I am so lucky that he is willing to be this silly for me. (and to let  me post it here!) He makes life a blast! :) 

We will be in NOLA for a bit.... but I'm hoping to post some 2015 goals / 2014 goal recap later today and tomorrow. :) 

What are you guys up to tonight?!?

Happy New Year Friends!! :)  



Past Anniversary Posts: 1st Year, 2nd Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmasing & Powdered Sugar // 2014

Hello everyone, how was your holiday?
I am still recovering from all of the fun, busyness, and reduced amount of sleep!

In addition to sharing snippets of my Christmas, I am linking up with the creative closet ladies again today sharing A Gift I Received at Christmas. My gift is a surprise rather than one of these great hats I'm rocking.... ahem... in Target. - though I did buy both as gifts for myself in the fall and I love them dearly... :)

Here are some things that happened during 'Christmas Week' for us:

  • Duchess tried really hard, yet did not succeed, in knocking down our small table-top tree.
  • We stayed up late baking pies and peanut butter balls.
  • Olivia put hot sauce on her Christmas turkey.
  • We learned (again) to play Phase10 with my aunt, grandma, and sister.
  • I got some sweet gifts both new and vintage.
  • We got to see almost all of our extended family members.
  • I drew a family portrait as part of our gift exchange with KC's extended family.
  • Duchess got a new springy tunnel, a fun feather toy, and her favorite, a track with a ball that she can chase all by herself!
  • We played games with KC's family.
  • We had coffee with friends.
  • Mom, Jess, Olivia, Grandma and I took our annual Christmas shopping trip and shopped until our feet were sore. We missed doing it as a larger group, but maybe next year it will be in the cards!
  • Kyle gave me gifts that were a clue to a bigger surprise coming very soon.

Here's a clue he gave me:
And I will give you a second one....

Powdered Sugar 

Can you guess what it is?!?

(if you know, please don't spoil!) -I'll reveal tomorrow morning. :)

I'm so excited, that sneaky fella. ;)

Hope you all had the sweetest of Christmases!



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pre-Christmas Festivities! // 2014

Happy Christmas Eve!!!! :)

How is everyone's holiday season going?

We have been super busy! -even on the days and nights where 'there isn't anything'.... things always pop up. We spent the past weekend meeting with friends, picking up our new car(!), seeing my extended family, cleaning, and baking.

I had the best time with my family this year, we all had dinner and watched home movies from when we were kids. We laughed so much, and just hung out. It was made all the sweeter by the fact that my grandfather was the one who took the videos. He has since passed away, but it felt like he was there with us. :)

Here are some of our pre-Christmas happenings this year.

One Very Festive Day. . .

Tree Trimming: Family Style

Every year my dad goes on a week-long hunting trip to the Western part of the state, and us girls are left here. -that's ok with me.... ;) My sister Jess was out of town too, so KC and I picked up a pizza and went over to help Mom and OE set up and decorate their Christmas tree. It was pretty fun, I always like being able to spend more time with them! In these pictures OE is saying 'slug bug! red one! Santa!' - and then she dissolved into giggles.. :)

Movie Date:

KC took me to see 'It's a Wonderful Life' at the beginning of the month at Liberty Hall. We have been trying to go see more old movies, especially in the theaters. Can you believe I hadn't seen this one?! It was so romantic and sweet. It was even better that as we walked out of the theater the lights were lit in the trees! - so pretty!

Tree Trimming: Apartment Style

After tree trimming with my family and our vintage movie date, we headed home to hang with Duchess and make our place more festive. We set up our tiny tree on the table by the door, strung up some lights, put on silly hats, and had hot chocolate. Then we watched The Holiday.... soooo good right?!?!??! (swooon... Jude Law... ) ;)

A few nights later we made our 'Hotschnaapslate' recipe and cuddled up on the couch and watched Love Actually. Another romantic Christmas classic. I just love it. And I can't get over the fact that the little boy is now in GOT.... quite the swap. :) And that Bilbo Baggins is also a porn star... oh gosh it's just too funny.

All of us 'kids' made it to Olivia's winter concert as well. It was brilliant. They had a rap song, and a reggae style one.

I got videos... oh boy! She looked so cute, and I think she felt pretty special that we all made it for her show. :)

Last Friday we got to go to Celtic Woman's Christmas Symphony Concert again. They have been coming to KS which has been such a treat. Though I wish they would come up closer to where we live. It seems like everytime we've driven down to Wichita/Mulvane to see them the crowds have been so much smaller. Plus the casino has the strangest policies, the people working are never very friendly either.... I really dislike this venue. Oh well. The concert was lovely. So beautiful, Lisa Lambe was back from having her baby. It was a fun date night to get into the spirit. :)

The last few days we have finished up our wrapping, baked a cranberry buckle... YUM(!), and met with more friends. We baked two pumpkin pies last night, and got the Peanut Butter Balls started... Tonight we will go to my family's house and have our Christmas Dinner, exchange gifts, bake these SPRITZ cookies, and look at old pictures. :) I'm excited!

By far my favorite picture.... ? - This one. So cute... :)

Tomorrow we will start the morning with KC's immediate family, then go to see my family again, and end the day in Kansas City with his extended family.

A busy week, but I think it will be a great one! - and soon it will be our anniversary! Holy cow! :)

What are you guys up to?

What festive activities do you like to do up until Christmas? What are your traditions?

I hope that you all have the happiest of holidays!



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Favorite Sweater // 2014

This week I am joining Jana, Maegen, and Britt with their Favorite Sweater linkup!

This cardigan was my biggest splurge in the last few years, and I am still so pleased with it! It is beautiful and goes with so many things. :)

If you've been following this blog for a while, you've probably seen a lot of this sweater... and perhaps most of these pictures.... :) - the lack of sunlight is making it ridiculously difficult to take new fashion photos!

Great with hot pink skinnies...

I also love it with this sweet heart printed polka dot skirt. This look also works well with boots and leg warmers! :) - you know for when the weather isn't 50 degrees in late December.... #ohkansas

Hoping to find more favorite sweaters soon.

What's been your biggest splurge purchase? - was it worth it?

Did you know that Simply Alexandra now has a Facebook page? - Let's be FB friends!

Thank you for reading!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Fall Bucket List Review 2014

Can you guys believe that it is winter already? I feel like fall flew by!

I am so excited for sparkly snowy days, Christmas (this week!?), cozy nights at home, and cuddles with Duchess and KC!

 Here's a look at how the Fall Bucket List went! :)
Fall Bucket List Review 2014

1) Read 10 Books (1 being the cat environmental enrichment book I bought) -(3 1/2)
2) Try a new board game
3) Watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie
4) DIY Halloween costumes for me and KC
5) Watch Hocus Pocus
6) Enjoy Seattle and Victoria (BC)
7) Have cider (donuts, slushes, .... everything!)
8) Go to the speakeasy
 9) Play with wardrobe and find lots of cozy layered outfits to post about
10) Watch a 'scary' black and white movie
11) Have a Halloween party
12) Plan a future vacation (you know, in advance.. )
13) Get pumpkins & decorate
14) DIY makeover for our bar cart
15) Cuddle :)
16) Eat chili and cornbread
17) Wear boots as much as possible
18) Try a new Thanksgiving recipe
19) OPEN ETSY SHOP! ADD ITEMS! (maybe all caps will get it done this season.)
20) Go for a walk and enjoy the leaves changing
21) Make a pumpkin dessert
22) Roast a chicken
23) Write down family stories
24) Learn more family stories
25) Try a new cocktail recipe (fall themed one?)
26) Make a schedule for upcoming trips! - tentative ;) 
27) Finish making cleaning schedules and begin using them
28) Learn how to use dad's DSLR / start practicing
29) Purchase glasses (or at least choose, the ones I finally chose are no longer available... ) - Readers!
30) See a classic movie at Liberty Hall (or the like)
31) Have a pancake or waffle breakfast (pumpkin waffles ...)
32) Wear hats!
33) Make macarons
34) Add to milk glass collection
35) Attend a fall event or party
36) Take a lot of pictures (especially including KC and myself!)
37) Keep to our budget plan
38) Have a girls night
39) Try a new DIY 
40) Find 10 new outfit combos 
41) Find a few fall couple's traditions
42) Try knitting again!
43) Finish two more pieces that need updated on my blog
44) Finish another piece of our bedroom de-clutter project
45) Hang more things on our walls
46) Work on mug wall display
47) Go to Ikea (eat meatballs)
48) Try a new soup recipe - pioneer woman chili 
49) Try again to find the perfect cozy knit slouchy scarf
50) Figure out how to get my music on my phone... (without losing things from my old computer).
Other accomplishments: 

Got to see friends in town from Boston!
Got to see friends before they move to Chicago!
Finally finished Anne of Green Gables!!
Completed mug wall display!
Hung up vintage state plates in a new wall collage.
Rearranged our apartment - I love it!
Meeting some awesome new bloggers. :) 
Done with our Christmas shopping!
KC completed new scratching posts for Duchess + most of the upgrades to her cat tree.
Baked for FUN & Enjoyed it - boy was I burnt out after 2012!
Got to go to Minneapolis and spend an awesome fall day with Emy & Matthew
Watched several classic / cult classic movies at Liberty Hall.  - A 2014 Goal & A 1,001 in 101 Goal.
Did you guys set fall goals? 

How did you do?

What are you hoping to do this winter? 

I'll have a Winter Bucket List up soon! 



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Christmas Wish // GIVEAWAY // Brooke White Pledge Music Project

12/22 Update: With hours left the project's goal amount was raised! You can still purchase the digital download from the site. :) Thanks to everyone who donated and visited the project page! Also, thank you to everyone who commented on this post and entered the giveaway in rafflecopter! Congratulations to Meagan over at The Modern Tulip! -Your CD will be heading your way soon! :)

If you have been reading this blog for a while you might know that I love Brooke White. Well, she is doing something incredibly generous this Christmas! Read on to find out more about her and her project. And to enter my giveaway!!

For those of you who didn't know Brooke was on the 7th season of American Idol (the only year I watched) and made the top 5. After that she went on to make dreamy solo records, and later form a band with Jack Matranga, aptly called Jack and White. Her musical style is folksy and fun. It has a vintage meets indie sound, with the the feel good vibes of pop. It's a little bit of everything, and it fills a large portion of my Spotify playlists.

She is also one half of the voice behind my favorite blog, The Girls With Glasses Show. Together, Summer Bellessa and Brooke put out fashion posts, home decor DIYs (often including glitter!), whimsical parody songs (I'm Not Fancy, Last Christmas, ..), and of course lots of tips on glasses. They are inspiring ladies inside and out, also posting videos of heart to hearts on things like comparison and self confidence. They're thrifters, hostesses, travelers, moms.... it's a fantastic blog. I hope that you go check it out, right after you read this!

All of those things are wonderful, but this post is about Brooke's new project with Pledge Music. She has recently been offered a chance to donate to a charity of her choice, and she decided to double that money through Pledge Music. She chose the charity O.U.R. - Operation Underground Railroad. It is an organization that funds physical rescue missions for children who have been kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery. Pretty incredible choice right? Her goal is to raise $20,000 by December 20th, which will then be doubled by a record company and donated to O.U.R. That's $40,000! - enough to fund 2 rescue missions!

How is she raising the money you ask?

She has recorded her new album with fellow artist friends such as Deana Carter (Strawberry Wine, anyone?), David Archuleta (Season 7 Idol Runner Up), Leigh Nash (Remember Kiss Me? Former lead singer of 'Sixpence none the Richer' and current solo artist), Jack Matranga (from Jack and White)... just to name a few! It is being put on her pledge music project site, along with autographed CDs, signed guitars, handwritten song lyrics (what I would have loved to order!), etc. Some of the other artists are offering up signed albums and vinyl as well! All of the physical CDs of Brooke's also come with a digital download of the new album! - including her sweet indie Christmas album!

Helping with this project is simple. Go to the site, make a 'pledge' (pick what you want to buy!), pay, done! The digital download of the album is just $10! -you can't beat that, especially since the proceeds are going to such an amazing cause!

She recently released some of her tracks on the site, and after listening to them I can say that I cannot wait to receive my CD in the mail!!

A few years ago I was lucky enough to be in Phoenix while Brooke & Summer were doing an event presentation on choosing glasses. I drug KC along, and we learned about frames for your face shape, and then Brooke was kind enough to help me look at glasses for a while! I of course, acted like a spaz, with things like 'I was so sad when they kicked you off idol!' coming out of my mouth. To which she responded 'me too,' she wasn't sarcastic or mad, she was just kind and real. -Which is always the vibe that I got reading an Instagram post or tweet from her. She's extremely genuine.

So this Christmas I hope that you consider purchasing her album, or donating to her cause in some way. I know that it would be a gift to her and the others involved in the project, but more importantly it would be the gift of safety and a happy life for many children! So check out her site, make a pledge, listen to the tracks, read about the cause in her own words... you just might fall in love with all of this too! Even tweeting and sharing her site or this giveaway can help raise money!

Because I love this project and Brooke's music I have decided to giveaway One Autographed Copy of her new album! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter. The raffle is open until 12/19/14 NOON Central Time. The raffle is open to people with US addresses only!

Thank you, I hope that you support this cause in whatever way you can!

And as always, may Rafflecopter be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for Reading!


The Two Sweetest People in Minneapolis // Emy & Matthew // October 2014

Last weekend was my dear friend Emy's birthday. So I thought I would share this with you guys today. :)

We met in college and lived in the same scholarship hall. We bonded over our love of books, travel, and the fact that we were both in very happy (and rare!) long-term relationships. We had fun movie and TV nights together.... there's nothing like watching a funny movie with Emy! (I will never forget how hard she laughed when Hugh Jackman took off his shirt and poured water on himself in 'Australia' .. priceless! ). The list goes on and on.

Later when Matthew moved to the same city, the four of us began having double dates. He likes architecture, comics, and music. We got to go to one of his band's concerts before they moved away, and it was awesome.

Together they are the sweetest couple. They like getting sushi late at night, watching Bob's Burgers, and playing scrabble. They run, listen to vinyl, and love going to movies out. You can tell how good they are for each other. :)

The two of them moved to Minneapolis a little over a year ago, and I miss them dearly. But since they have moved we have managed to drive up and see them twice! They offered up their spare bedroom to us, and spending time with them has been lovely. I think that we know them better now than we did when they lived here!

After we returned from Seattle, we drove up to Minneapolis for a concert, and to spend time with the two of them. We had some great meals out, enjoyed long talks about futures, families, travels, and school, and we got to see some of their favorite places in the Twin Cities.

I captured some shots of Emy and Matthew that day, I hope you enjoy them. - aren't they just the cutest!?

I hope that you enjoyed these pictures! I'll share more photos from this trip soon!

Happy Wednesday!


Friday, December 12, 2014

The Wanderluster // Books for Every Lady on Your List // Holiday Gift Guide // 2014

The Wanderluster

This is your friend who is either gone, or talking about her next trip. She might be willing to do things that sound awful to you, just to travel. From 'short' 8 hour road trips, to forgoing dinners out to put every dollar possible into her travel plans, she's determined. When you talk to her about her future travel plans she might mention obscure destinations like Slovenia or backpacking in Patagonia. Her home is decorated in souvenirs, maps, globes, and photos from her travels. She's probably the one suggesting Tapas or Ethiopian for a dinner out. She knows about miles, travel hacking, and public transportation around the globe. She's probably plotting out three or more trips just right now. Her Instagram is filled with inspirational travel quotes, snapshot from her trips, and maps of where she's been.

1) I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded

This travel guided travel journal is great for the list maker in all of us. It begins with emergency information and packing guides, things to make sure you see etc. It guides you through your trip having you collect memories big and small, reviews of food you liked, tips from locals, what the weather was like, random prompts and activities to complete and ponder. It is a very creative way to record your trips.

2) Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers

A reader and a traveler? This is the book for you. Read essays written by fiction writers about their own travels. With their fiction skills, you will feel like you are there with them. 

3) The World's Best Street Food: Where to Find it & How to Make it

Street food is often the best food. Things from a cart, or a truck, or a stand tend to be authentic, delicious, and inexpensive. Some of the most interesting people that you will meet on a trip are the ones who work in places like this. Their passion for food shows in the creativity of the recipe, and always makes for an unforgettable meal. This is another collection of these recipes, this time from around the world. -This ebook is only $2.99 RIGHT NOW (on Amazon!). Also a great gift idea for the Foodie!

4) Make Map Art: Creatively Illustrate Your World

I purchased this book in Seattle and I LOVE it! It is a creative way to document your trips, or even your hometown. Included in the kit are many decent sized pages to create your maps on (one large world map!), stickers of compass roses, banners, arrows, etc. and an idea/inspiration booklet to give you ideas for creating your own map. This is a really fun project to do solo, with your significant other, or as a family. I would recommend this for the DIY-er and the Momma too!

5Home Style by City: Ideas and Inspiration from Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, and Copenhagen

Being more of a Wanderluster than a Homebody... I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! - just a bit excited. This book is basically a physical Pinterest of design in these cities. There are beautiful pages of design inspiration, tips, and projects by location, as well as a list of books, movies, music that will inspire you by city. There is even a section about flea markets in each place! This is much less of a how-to, as it is a book of majorly swoony travel and home photos, but it is very well done. There were pieces from each city that appealed to me, and just as many books I now want to read, movies I now want to watch etc. Beautiful, Beautiful book! Also on the Homebody's list!

6) A Guidebook for Her Next Adventure

Why not get her a guidebook for her next adventure? It wouldn't be hard to figure out where she wants to go next, just ask! Not sure where she is going next? A guidebook for anywhere she wants to go someday would be great! I may not be going to Ireland next year, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't love reading up on it! There are many brands to choose from, I personally like Fodor's... but Lonely Planet, and Frommer's are great too. -remember that Rick Steve's are for luxury travelers!

7) Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips

Every traveler's guide to photography. This book is full of tips on how to shoot incredible photos on your travels. With focuses on everything from wildlife photography to night time photos, there is something for everyone to learn about photography in this book.

8) How to Be the World's Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle)

This book is an excellent guide to easing your travel woes. I picked it up at SEATAC on the way home in October and devoured much of it on the plane. It contains information on saving money, staying healthy, getting good customer service, and real life complaints made by travelers resolved by the author, travel guru Christopher Elliot. He gives you a step by step breakdown of what went wrong in the case, how to prevent it, and how to resolve it after the fact. Tons of valuable information in this book!

9) The Book of Everything: A Visual Guide to Travel and the World

A treasure trove of visually appealing travel infographics on locations and destinations around the globe. This makes a great coffee table book, but also contains great information! For instance it includes maps and information about specific locations, but it also shares fun facts about other travel-related things, like what the air traffic controllers mean when they wave those glow sticks around. Just a few other topics include: encountering wild animals, predicting weather, counting in other languages, manners in other countries... etc. Reviewers have raved about how fun it is, saying that their older children were also very interested in it.

10) Anywhere Travel Guide: 75 Cards for Discovering the Unexpected, Wherever Your Journey Leads

One of the worst things for travelers, is that severe wanderlust that hits.... when you can't travel. I like the idea of these cards, because you could use them both on your travels, but also to make a day at home (or nearby) an adventure. The cards have prompts on them that get you thinking about your environment differently. Some examples include: 'ask the next person you see what his/her favorite street is. GO THERE.' and 'Find or make a souvenir that represents your experience on this day.' - just a fun way to approach your day whether you are in Thailand or Indiana.

I hope that this list has given you some book ideas for your traveling friend!

Interested in more?  Check out this post to view my book recommendations for other 'types'.

Happy Gifting!


The Vintage Vixen // Books for Every Lady on Your List // Holiday Gift Guide // 2014

The Vintage Vixen

She's the one with an iTunes library filled with more music from before 1970 than after 1970. She probably enjoys antique malls and thrift shopping. Her hair is might be pinned up in a vintage 'do, and her lips are often bright red. She might enjoy vintage recipes and some of the 'domestic arts' of days-gone-by. She might be handy with a sewing machine or in the garden. She probably owns a record player and sends letters. Black and white movies, hand knit blankets, and dinner at a diner are among her favorite things in life. She probably went as her favorite movie star for Halloween. Her grandmother might be her biggest hero. Don't be surprised to find her in horn rimmed glasses or an apron. Her Instagram is a collection of her vintage finds, retro hair styles, swoony old song lyrics, and her own handicrafts.

1) How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew

This is one of my favorite books of ALL TIME. (read my thoughts on it here!) Erin Bried interviews grandmothers who grew up during the great depression, they give her colorful stories and quotes, and teach her how to do all sorts of essential things. The writing is funny and sweet, the grandmothers are lovely, the how-to's are both fun and applicable to everyday life. I would buy this book for every woman I know, if I could afford it! :) The book includes: How to Roast a Whole Chicken, How to Repel Furry Friends from Your Garden, How to Handwash Delicates,  How to Make an Apron, How to Make a Centerpiece, How to Wear Red Lipstick, How to Make the Most of a Night In, How to Shop Without Credit, How to Start a Bookclub, How to Host a Potluck Dinner Party, How to Play Charades - just to list some! There is also a men's version: How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew, which KC has read and enjoyed, as well as one geared toward moms, which you can find on the Momma list.

2) Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book

The 1950, ring-bound classic! All of the vintage and homestyle recipes that you love are in this book. Restored to it's original black and white and vintage illustrated images this cookbook is an all-around delight. It also includes information essential to cooking, and the tools to do it right. This classic has a place in everyone's kitchen, especially the Foodie's!

3) Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun

This book is where DIY, vintage inspiration, cooking, style, advice, and sewing come together in one brilliant volume. I don't own this book yet... but I intend to soon! This beautifully designed book is divided by month and contains a wide selection of information in each section. Articles from vintage magazines, newspapers, and books are included to inspire you during each month. Vintage fashion tips, sketches, advice, and advertisements are tucked into each section as well. Along with those include long lost recipes, advice from the past, sewing patterns, embroidery stitches and tutorials, as well as decorating ideas. I cannot wait to finally get my hands on this one! Also good for the DIY-er!

4) Vintage Wedding Style: More than 25 Simple Projects and Endless Inspiration for Designing Your Big Day

Perfect for the vintage vixen on her way to the altar, this beautiful book contains 25+ DIY projects for her wedding day. With inspiring glossy photos this book is a treat to look at, and the projects are simple! The book is divided into different vintage styles from Farmhouse to Gatsby this book has it all. Also a good choice for the Hostess, DIY-er, or Girly Girl!

5) Easy As Pie

As a pie-lover this is one of my favorite little cookbooks! It is a sweet collection of vintage advertisements that contain recipes for pies. It contains 76 recipes, tips and tricks for crusts and pie-baking, as well as charming vintage illustrations, and snippets. From fruit pies to cream pies, ice cream pies to tarts, this book has it all. The old fashioned banana cream pie recipe was fantastic!! Also great for the Foodie!

6) Vintage Cakes: Timeless Recipes for Cupcakes, Flips, Rolls, Layer, Angel, Bundt, Chiffon, and Icebox Cakes for Today's Sweet Tooth

Perhaps you don't like pie... why not? This collection of vintage cake recipes is for you. The photography in this book flawless and the recipes sound fantastic! Classics like Texas Sheet Cake, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and Cherry Chip Cake. Yum... Great for the baker in your life, the Foodie would also love this gift!

7) Style Me Vintage: Hair: Easy Step-by-Step Techniques for Creating Classic Hairstyles

Your complete guide to vintage hairstyling from the '30's to the '60's. This book includes step-by-step instructions on how to complete the different hairstyles, equipment that is needed, make up to go with the looks, and fun vintage images. Also by in the Style Me Vintage series: Makeup, Clothes, and a Compilation of Clothes, Hair, and Makeup, Tea Parties, Accessories, and Weddings. Could also be great for the DIYer and the Girly Girl

8) Vintage Fashion Sourcebook: Key Looks and Labels and Where to Find Them

A beginner's look into the world of vintage fashion. Including, popular vintage labels, styles, and trends, how and where to buy, and how to care for your vintage clothing. This book is not the bible of vintage fashion, but it is a good starting place and reference point for someone looking to get started.

9) The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping: Insider Tips, Helpful Hints, Hip Shops

A more comprehensive guide to buying and shopping vintage clothing. Author Melody Fortier gives you the inside information on how to spot the clothing, what to look for in quality, how much to pay, alterations, and how to care for your vintage clothing. She also gives you tips on flattering fits in vintage clothing and specific stores to shop at. -A really fun and comprehensive guide. Another good choice for the Girly Girl as well!

10) The Vintage Pattern Selector with CD-ROM: The Sewer's Guide to Choosing & Using Retro Styles

Perfect for the girl who loves vintage fashion and loves to sew. This book has patterns from the '30's through the '60's made to fit your wardrobe today. Each decade is explained in terms of popular fashions, and the specific types of clothing represented in the pattern are also explained historically. This book comes with a CD rom making the patterns more accessible. Also great for the DIYer and the Girly Girl.

I hope that this list has given you some book ideas for your retro loving friend!

Interested in more?  Check out this post to view my book recommendations for other 'types'.

Happy Gifting!


The Momma // Books for Every Lady on Your List // Holiday Gift Guide // 2014

The Momma

Anyone woman with a child can be a mom, but she is so much more than that! Her kids are her world and there is no way she would rather have it. She enjoys creating family and solo activities for her kids. She might like animated movies and children's books just as much as (if note more than!) their adult counterparts. She strives to interact with her children in a way that helps them learn and grow. When you see her she probably has a funny story to tell you about one of her kiddos, she might have finger paints on her jeans, or glue on her sleeve... but she wouldn't have it any other way! She might also be a school teacher. Her Instagram is made up of pictures of her kids and details of their lives. From soccer practice to creative sandwich cuts, and board games, and snow angels -these are her favorite parts of her day.

1) Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media-For Budding Artists

These books are an amazing resource for creative mommas, or any parent that wants to be more creative, and encourage creativity in their child's life. Written by an experienced art teacher and mom it explores many different media in art. It is organized by media type (water color, pastels etc.) and gives detailed instructions on materials and methods within the different 'labs' (projects). Very, very cool book! :) There are more books as well, including this one Art Lab for Little Kids. This would also be a great book for the DIY-er!

2) The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art and Creativity--Includes over 60 Art Projects for Children Ages 1 to 8

This book is also good for the creative parent. It includes 60 projects for kids, but is more heavily based upon the parent's part in the process. It includes things like how to set up art spaces, how to talk to your kids about their art, how to reuse, which materials are best to use, etc. It is very great for intentional teaching about art, imagination, and creativity. Another good choice for DIY-ers.

3) How to Rock Your Baby: And Other Timeless Tips for Modern Moms

This will be the first book I purchase when the time comes to start a family. I cannot express how much I love Erin Bried's 'How-to' books! If you haven't heard about them, here is the deal: Erin Bried (funny, adorable writer) interviews grandmothers and grandfathers who have depression era know-how about how to do all sorts of important things. The books are charming, funny, sweet, and applicable to life today. This book follows the same sort of pattern, but is all about raising kiddos. :) Also great for the Vintage Vixen Momma!

4) Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun

Unbored is a great resource for parents and for kids! It is filled with activities, explorations, and lessons that get your kids moving and thinking. It is great to give to a parent to use with their kiddos, or to just give to an older kid. Ideas range from clapping games to cigar box tutorials, how to conduct an interview to birch bark house designs and everything in between. This book is incredibly well rounded! Now there is a new book in the same vein called UNBORED Games: Serious Fun for Everyone, focusing on games of all kinds! - These books would be especially great for cold weather months, and breaks from school! 

5) 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities

Another book for the momma who is looking for creative, imaginative and fun activities for her kiddos. This book is not all art-based either. There are plenty of games, sensory, and science based projects here too. Out of 72 Amazon ratings 71 are 5's, and the other 1 is a 4! Awesome!

6) Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors

With a few chapters on set up and parent information, and then a slew of chapters with activities for young experimenters (ages 6 and below).  These ideas will get your kids thinking mechanically, creatively, and work on their problem solving skills. Some activities including: gumdrop structures, DIY robots, straw rockets, glittery egg geodes, lemon invisible ink, and DIY lava lamps - just to name a few! This is a great option for The DIY-er too!

7) The Cardboard Box Book

Kids love a good cardboard box. It's just a fact of life. This book contains many activities to help you and your kiddos get creative and use your imagination to turn cardboard boxes into playthings and works of art. From a cardboard city to a train, a theater to a gingerbread house... there are tons of fun ideas here. I especially love the layout of the book, the step by step instructions are easy to read and to look at. A really creative book!

8) Let's Get This Party Started

Great for the Hostess / Momma combo! This book contains ideas, instructions, and inspiration for 15 fun, easy, and frugal parties for your littles! Author Soleil Moon Frye (Roxie from Sabrina the Teenage Witch - anyone? Or Punky Brewster!), organizes this book by party theme, each of which includes a party game, an activity, and a craft. - all of which are kid friendly! From movie nights to slumber parties, picnics to safari themes... there is something for everyone in here. 

9) Your Birthday Book: A Keepsake Journal

For the mom who loves to document the years. This book is nothing like traditional baby journals or baby books! It is set up like a fun scrapbook, with places for pictures, quotes, and prompts to help you document specific years in your child's life. This fun journal is very accessible, easy, and ranges from ages 1-18. A fun gift for any parent!

10) My Quotable Kid: A Parent's Journal of Unforgettable Quotes

Kids say the Darndest Things right? With my youngest sister being just 7, I have wished I could remember the funny things she has said. Even when I worked at preschool, I would try to remember what I would hear at school... but it's difficult! This book is a good way to organize those quotes before you forget! Simply set up pages feature callouts (quote bubbles) with lines, and a spot that says, 'who, when, age, where'. Simple, right? Keeping it in the kitchen or living room would give a parent pretty easy access to write these things down, and then look back on them later and laugh. :) There is also a version called, My Quotable Grandkid too!

I hope that this list has given you some book ideas for the family oriented mommas in your life!

Interested in more?  Check out this post to view my book recommendations for other 'types'.

Happy Gifting!