Chanukah 2016

With 2016 officially in the books, I knew I needed to get my Chanukah 2016 post up!  If for no other reason, because I love looking back on old blog posts from special occasions.  I know blogging has not been consistent these days, that’s a whole different issue, but really it’s for good reasons. I’ve been enjoying life, out of routine, and blogging simply has not been a priority.  I thought I’d try to catch up on life in a few different posts as to not do one huge photo dump of the last month.  So today, Chanukah 2016!  While I have many more pictures from Chanukah, these are specifically the menorah photos, since nothing says Chaunkah like a brightly lit menorah and smiling faces!

William will be three in April, so this is the first Chaunkah he started to understand how it worked.  After the first snow in St. Louis, before Chanukah began, I took him outside to show him the snow in the morning.  “It’s Chanukah?” he asked.  It’s funny how people always associate Christmas with snow, but my little Jewish boy equated Chanukah with snow.  Then, when the snow melted, still before Chanukah began, he questioned, “How will we have Chanukah if there’s no snow?”  The associations he makes and questions he asks continue to amaze me.

William celebrated Chanukah at his school where they played games, ate snacks, and made their own menorahs.

The first night of Chanukah may have been celebrated in the morning because both William and I were too excited to wait for the evening.  We lit the menorah first thing after breakfast and I gave William his first gift.

William is really into playing games right now, so I gave him a new game (Pop Up Pirate), and it provided a lot of entertainment for the day.  His imagination is running wild these days.  We played the game, but then he took the pirate and the barrel and turned it into a ship.  Then, we drew pictures of our own pirate ship and he made the game pirate hop in.

The second night of Chanukah was a big family get together at my cousins’ house.  They host a beautiful Chanukah dinner every year with my mom’s side of the family.  The cousins play, the adults visit, and many menorahs are lit.

My parents had our immediate family over for Chanukah.  I say it over and over again, but it’s still true.  William is so close with his cousins Jacob, Audrey, and Jackson.  I hope that bond is always there.  Yaya and Pops sure instilled love in our family!

linking up with healthy diva 

And now the kids picture:

The following night, William and I went over to Stephanie’s house.  Audrey was so kind in letting William help her with her menorah.  She was cracking up when he went out of order in putting in the candles.  She so gently held his hand while they lit the candles together.

Another night, just William and I spent Chanukah with my mom.  I love our big family, but some quality one on one time is definitely nice, too.

At William’s school, they made menorahs and wrapped them up as gifts which was sweet.

It’s funny because even prior to seeing it, I helped William make handprint menorahs for a Chanukah card for his great-grandparents.  I’m pretty sure there is a handprint craft for every single holiday out there.

The last night of Chanukah fell on New Year’s Eve.  We, of course, spent it with Jacob and Audrey.  Bright lights and a glittery gold background!

I love that Chanukah traditions are beginning with William, and he is starting to appreciate the importance of the holiday.  With our hearts full, Chanukah 2016 (and all of 2016 actually) is officially over!  We have many memories to look back on and celebrate.

How were your holidays?

Thanksgiving 2016

I thought maybe, just maybe, I had better get up my Thanksgiving 2016 post before Chanukah rolled around.  And with as fast as time is flying these days, Chanukah is going to be here any minute!  Thanksgiving break was a wonderful one, as it always is.  The days off work were nice, and the entire break actually felt like a break instead of each day zipping by.  William and I spent a lot of time with family and friends, yet enjoyed much down time together, too.

thanksgiving 2016

My little boy looked so handsome on Thanksgiving!  Many times William wears Jacob’s hand-me-downs as he was quite the stylish dude, but I’m proud to say William’s outfit was all my doing.  (Even my sister was impressed!)  I bought his shirt and bow tie as a set and got him the cutest Toms boots, all from Nordstrom Rack online.

Just check him out:

jacob audrey thanksgiving16

And Jacob and Audrey are obviously adorable, as well.  Don’t they look like siblings here?  They were just missing their other cousin Jackson!

My parents hosted Thanksgiving 2016, as they always do.  With *just* (ha!) 24 people this year, the crowd was smaller than their usual thirty-something.

thanksgiving-2016

However, the company was just as nice, the laughter just as loud, the love just as strong, and the food just as delicious.  Spending holidays with family and friends is the best and Thanksgiving is such a lovely reminder of just that.

My mom did a beautiful job setting the table:

thanksgiving-table16

There was enough food to serve an army, quite literally.  We all ate leftovers for the following week.  I’d say I was sick of it, but I don’t think I could ever get sick of my mom’s stuffing.

My family has a strong bond, one that can / will never be broken.  We genuinely enjoy spending time together, and if you’ve ever been to a “Williams” event, you’d know why.  Holidays are just another occasion that confirms the everlasting bond my parents instilled in us at such an early age, and a joyous time that celebrates everyone’s good health and happiness.  I can only hope, pray, and do my best that William grows up with that same type of closeness and love.  Right now, I’d say he is. 🙂

dana mom steph nov16

I hope you, too, had a fabulous Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

rainy day fun

Has it been raining continuously for what seems like forever in other parts of the country besides just St. Louis? Most unfortunately, throughout the entire Fourth of July weekend?  Well, my family always goes to Innsbrook (lake resort area just outside of St. Louis) for the Fourth and this year was no different, despite the rain.  We made the most of our time, even braving a constant drizzle just so we could watch the awesome fireworks show on the lake.

innsbrook fireworks july16

Since when do we have to bundle up for fireworks in July?!  Clearly someone still had a ton of fun and loved watching the fireworks!

We HAD to get out of the house, especially the kiddos, so what’d we do?  Gave everyone an umbrella and went for a walk!

innsbrook umbrellas july16

William made it for awhile before he needed a lift from momma.

umbrella july16

I think we both won the “best outfit” award.

Whenever the downpour let up even a little, the kiddos were quick to get outside.  Fishing was the highlight of the trip as William had been talking about it forever.  He would have fished all day and night if we let him!

innsbrook fishing july16

This was at 7:00 am in the morning.  Don’t worry, William didn’t really wear pajamas the entire trip. 😉

The kayaks were brought out for a short amount of time and William went with Yaya for his first ride of the summer!

innsbrook kayak july16

Pops taught the kids how to drive in the mule.

innsbrook pops mule july16

Audrey made sure to keep a tight arm around William the entire ride.  (And I was on the other side of him, as well.)  Audrey literally couldn’t keep her hands off William.

innsbrook aud kiss mule july16

smush face

I love my family.  That’s obvious.  So being cooped up in close quarters with them for a couple days (literally, thanks, rain) is really fun.  A lot of us squeeze in a few rooms to sleep.  This time it was my sister and I in the same room as our kids.  I brought William into bed with me in the morning to try to get him to sleep a little bit longer though he was already excited when he woke up and saw Stephanie’s dog Ellie on the bed.  Within a few minutes, an upside down head popped down from the top bunk.  “Jacob!”  William exclaimed excitedly.   Sleeping in whatsoever didn’t happen.  But the kids were happy to come in my bed and pretend to sleep for a little longer.

innsbrook sleep july16

Audrey: Let’s close our eyes, but still smile!

Big thanks to my parents for having us out at Innsbrook again.  They’re the best Yaya and Pops anyone could ever wish for!

innsbrook yaya pops july16

Seriously, they’re the best.  They do anything and everything for us.

Oh, and right before we left, I had to get outside and do my obligatory split jump by the lake photo while the rain had let up.

innsbrook split jump july16

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July!

What’d you do for the Fourth?

Pinterest Craft Wins for Father’s Day 2016

If you know me, then you know I’m the least crafty person ever.  I’m a fourth grade teacher, but have awful handwriting.  If I need to write nicely, I need to write very slowly and make an intense conscious effort.  (I will say, I do have nice cursive, if I take my time.)  My mom is an artist through and through.  My sister got that gene, too.  They both have great creative eyes.  Not me.  Anyway, I’m proud to share some Pinterest Craft Wins for Father’s Day 2016 today!  You’ll see what I mean when I say I’m not crafty.  These Pinterest craft wins were made by my toddler, facilitated by me for the special guys in our lives.

fathersday16 dad

My dad, he’s just the best.  Seriously the best.  And can you see why I’m obsessed with my hair?  This was the first time after I washed it and it took me five minutes to blow dry, no flat iron needed!  Alright, now onto Father’s Day Pinterest crafts!

My dad, William’s “Pops”

fathersday16 pops

William, if there’s one person in the world who I want you to be exactly like, it’s your Pops.  My dad is the smartest, kindest, most selfless, hardest working person I know.  We joke that he’s perfect and never make mistakes and I follow closely in his lead.  He can fix anything and do anything.  In fact, no matter where we are, if something is broken, William tells me, “Pops, fix it!”  We sure love our Pops!

A close-up of Pops’ masterpiece:

craft footprint pops

Made up of four footprints, I had this piece matted.  When I saw it on Pinterest, it was really four separate pieces, but I knew we could squeeze it onto one.  William is very into all of these, fire engines, tractors, dump trucks, and race cars, so it was perfect!

My grandpa, William’s great-grandpa, “Papa”

fathersday16 papa

Papa is the athlete of the family and calls William his number one!  He’ll be fine-tuning William’s skills for all sports soon enough.  Papa’s biggest sport is golf and he’s won some impressive titles during his golfing days!  So his craft:

craft papa

You are the best Papa by par!  Heh, heh.  Hand prints for the grass, golf tees, and colored pom poms for the golf balls.

linking up with katie and erin 

My grandpa, William’s great-grandpa, “Poppy”

fathersday16 poppy

Poppy’s expertise is fishing, boats, and cars, just to name a few.  He tells William to hug him, “but not too tight!”  It’s so funny to hear him say this since they’re the same words we heard growing up.  It won’t be long before William goes to his first circus or rodeo with Poppy, just like I did!

craft poppy

Hooked on Poppy!  Footprint for the fishing pole and hand print for the fish.  William so beautifully helped color in the water.

See?  Even I could handle those crafts!  William LOVED making hand and footprints!  It was fun picking out crafts for each of these wonderful men.  To say William and I are both blessed to have them in our lives would be an understatement.  We love every minute we get to spend with them!

One more bonus photo from the weekend.  Audrey slept over and brought clothes that she knew William could match.  When I did her hair in the morning, she requested a side pony, so of course William wanted the same thing, as well.

aud matching june16

Are they the cutest twinsies or what?!  Possibly my favorite picture of them.

Are you crafty? Do you enjoy making things?

just ONE afikomen

If you’re Jewish, you know that Passover began Friday evening.  If you’re not, well now you know. 😉  We started the holiday with a lovely seder at my grandparents’ house.  They’ve hosted every year for as long as I can remember and probably years before that, as well.

mama papa passover 2016

The evening was filled with warm bodies, full hearts, good food, and lots and lots of laughter.  It’s always so nice to be surrounded by those you love.

yaya pops jacob aud april16

Yes, William’s curly locks are just as amazing in person as they are in photos.

passover2016 steph mom mama

The strongest women in my family.

linking up with katie and erin

Lots of little ones present, but missing many more!

mama papa passover2016

Part of Passover’s tradition includes finding the afikomen.  The afikomen is part of a piece of matzoh broken off, wrapped up, and hidden to be found by the children.  But if you know children, then you know it’s totally not fair if just ONE child finds the afikomen.  So to prevent meltdowns, every year every child wins.  Yep.  This year there were eight afikomens hidden.  My cousin Michael did a great job explaining the rules before letting the children loose to explore.  He made it clear that they were allowed to find just ONE afikomen, and no matter how good of finders they are, they must exit the room immediately after finding their own.  Then he made them stay back while the babies got a head start.

Take a glimpse into our evening with this short video my sister made (including the rules and finding of the afikomen!):

Stephanie takes the best pictures and puts together awesome videos.  We’re always grateful for her capturing our memories!

Here is William and I last Passover (just look at that face!!!).  And this Passover:

passover2016

He is a growing boy, that’s for sure!

How was your weekend?

very merry

Oh hello there!  It’s been almost a week since I’ve blogged, and I hope everyone has been busy sharing their time with friends, family, and loved ones.  We certainly have.  William hopes YOU…

pointing dec15

…had a very Merry Christmas, if you celebrate.  We don’t, but I couldn’t think of anything else creative to say while posting this picture of William pointing.

My sister Stephanie had William last week when his school was closed and I still had to work.  She made an impromptu stop at the studio with William and her kids.  Well, Stephanie has always been a briber, especially when it comes to getting kiddos to smile for the camera.  Apparently, she bribed William to smile (though clearly unsuccessfully here… good thing he’s cute!) with M&Ms.  She thinks it’s hilarious since I literally don’t feed William anything like that at all (personal preference).  I’m not mad because how could I be mad when she takes William to the studio for pictures? But… I was sure to load up her kids on sugar last time I was with them.  Yeah.  You’re welcome. 🙂

The night before Stephanie watched William, Audrey woke up in the middle of the night and told Stephanie, “I know how I’m going to get William to smile!  I’m going to say ‘what what chicken butt!'” Oh the mind of a four year old!

audrey dec15

They’re both getting so darn old.  These two plus Jacob make the three musketeers.

jacob aud dec15

Doesn’t that look like the cover to a CD or something?  No?  Just me.  Alright…

How about the three of them on Christmas?  When we actually celebrated Chanukah with my immediate family.

christmas 2015

linking up with katie and erin

Back to studio shots…. and the best baby ever…

best baby ever dec15

…with the wildest hair ever.  I know I say this at least once a week, but he is turning into such the little boy.  His words increase by the hour (literally!) and he grows bigger by the day (literally!).  Looking back, the newborn stage went by quickly, but this toddler stage is FLYING by.  I know I’m biased, but in addition to being extremely smart, silly, loving, and sweet, William is quite possibly the most beautiful baby ever!

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Stephanie knows how much I adore black and white photos.

Anyone and everyone agrees that William is definitely a “Williams” (my maiden name).  He has all the classic Williams features, so it’s no surprise that people repeatedly mistaken him for a brother of Jacob and Audrey.  Do you see it?

jacob audrey william dec15

Such cuties!  I adore all of them!

How has your last week been?  

all photos by stephanie cotta photography

Thanksgiving 2015

As expected, Thanksgiving 2015 was awesome!  It’s 9:30 on Sunday evening and I’m hoping to get to bed relatively soon, so this is going to be more like a photo dump post with a few comments.  The long weekend was magnificent.  It was a nice break to be off of school, and it was even better to spend so much time with family and friends – the people who matter most and what the Thanksgiving holiday is all about!  Without further ado, here’s what’s been up the last five days:

My family went out to dinner at Bricktops on Wednesday evening.  All but my momma came as she was at home busily preparing to host 30+ people for Thanksgiving!

justin steph nov15

No family photo that evening, but Stephanie and I were just so happy our baby brother was in town!

There weren’t many candid snapshots taken on Thanksgiving.  I guess that’s what happens when you have so many little ones running around!  Stephanie did set up a Thanksgiving photo booth again this year, so I’ll be sure to post those fun pictures once they’re available.  We tried to take one whole family photo, but that wasn’t until 9:15 in the evening when some of the kiddos <<cough cough William>> were more than ready for bed.  Next year we’ll be sure to do that FIRST! (Right, Mom?! #notecard)

In my family’s true fashion, my siblings and I met at an Orangetheory Fitness bright and early on Friday morning to burn off some of that turkey!  The class was challenging, and we had a great time sweating together!

family orangetheory workout

We hung out at my parents’ house for a good chunk of Friday, ate leftovers at least a couple more times, and the kids cuddled up with Stephanie for story time.

steph reading

Kids always gravitate towards her and there’s always room for everyone on her lap – just how our own mom is!

linking up with katie and erin

Jacob and William’s new thing is piggyback rides.  Even when I tell them that’s enough, William literally crawls on to Jacob and demands “uppy!”  Jacob more than happily obliges and whizzes him around the house!

jacob piggyback

As if we didn’t eat enough on Thanksgiving or the days following, on Friday evening we went to Crown Candy for the first time.  Crown Candy appeared on The Food Network for their BLT (there’s seriously a pound of bacon on it!), but their milkshakes made with real ice cream is what stole the show for me!

crown candy

I really don’t give William sweets (like, at all. I just see no reason to.  He will have his whole life ahead of him to make those decisions on his own!), but very occasionally I’ll give him a bite or drink of something extra delicious.  This chocolate marshmallow milkshake was one of those times, and we both approved!

Saturday was a day to recover (holy cow was I sore from Orangetheory!) and relax, although I didn’t really relax as I got a good chunk of my holiday shopping done.  Chanukah comes early this year… like in six days to be exact, so shopping and wrapping was needed!  It was a productive day, that’s for sure!  I ended the night early by watching a movie in bed – something I haven’t done in years, literally!

Sunday was the perfect day to end the marvelous weekend.  We took William to the St. Louis Science Center for the first time ever, and it was unbelievable!  I think this is where we’re going to spend our winter weekends since there is so much to do!

human hamster wheel

Human hamster wheel?  Yeah, I had just as much fun on that thing as he did!

William loves fish, mainly because he gets to feed the fish in Yaya and Pops’ pond.  However, I think all kids are captivated by fish.  I’d get some for our home if I didn’t have to change their water and clean their tank so frequently, haha.

fish

The weekend concluded with a big family dinner at my parents’ house to celebrate one of my grandfather’s birthdays.  We had such a good time with my family.  William was in an especially good mood.  He loves loves LOVES being with his cousins.  He even got to sit at the kid table (which worked out perfectly since most days he boycotts his high chair).

thanksgiving kidstable

Clearly they had more fun than we did.

thanksgiving kids table

I know I say it all the time, and other parents certainly know what I’m talking about, but he is growing up so fast!  He had on the cutest outfit, too, with a denim button down shirt, navy slacks, and slip on boat shoes.  Ah, can’t handle the cuteness!  Oh, and he even brought his plate to the sink when he was finished.  What?!

Naturally, Stephanie and I had to snap a sister selfie:

steph nov15

Couldn’t ask for a more unbelievable sister!

And Yaya.  Oh, Yaya.  Yaya has a way with kids.  (That’s an understatement.)  All kids ADORE her, William especially.  He asks for Yaya all the time at home.  If he’s upset, I’ll ask him if he wants to call Yaya. “YEAH!” he happily replies!  When asking him to say hi to Pops, often he will say, “Yaya?”  Last night was no different.  Yaya had William full of belly laughs multiple times.  In fact, it was so hard to capture a good photo of them because they were all blurry!  But I think I got one sweet one:

yaya nov15

Those belly laughs didn’t stop all night.  My Uncle Steve was pretending to drop a baby doll and William just thought it was the most hilarious thing EVER.

laughing nov15

What a wonderful weekend.  I hope you had a special Thanksgiving filled with delicious food, good health, and being surrounded with those you love.  I know I did.

What were some of your Thanksgiving weekend highlights?

William’s First Chanukah 2014

We want to wish everyone who celebrates a very Merry Christmas today!  Since we obviously don’t celebrate, I thought we’d recap William’s first Chanukah 2014 since it just ended a couple of days ago.

first chaunkah

We had lots of family time which is the best part of any holiday.

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William even got to spend some time with Uncle Justin and Aunt Dana who were in town from Arizona.  William intently explored Justin’s face.

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I like how they both have the hair flip thing going on. 🙂

We had lots of playdates with our buddies!  William and Wolf:

wolf dec14

And William with his twin buddies, Asher and Sam:

asher sam

We celebrated the last night of Chanukah with our good friends. It was a beautiful way to end William’s first Chanukah!

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Happy holidays to all! xo

Best Dressed Home Sweepstakes

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Kmart.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Growing up, my mom always decorated our house for the holidays.  I remember helping her put on the window decals of Jewish stars, menorahs, and dreidels.  She set out festive afghans and took out every menorah our family owned, which grew throughout the years, as did our dreidel collection.  Old family photos from previous Chanukahs were shown, and each of the eight nights our family came together to light the candles, say the blessings, play dreidel, open gifts, read books, and enjoy each other’s company.

1985 chanukah

my first chanukah

Truthfully, I’m not a decorator.  At all.  I don’t have an eye for it nor is it something I enjoy.  Besides a themed dish towel or two, you will never find a decoration in our home for any holiday.  However, when Kmart approached me asking to share their Best Dressed Home Sweepstakes and offered to give me a gift card to purchase holiday decorations, I was actually excited. I thought this could start my own collection of holiday decorations.

Off to the store I went in search of Chanukah or winter decorations.  I knew they wouldn’t be as plentiful as Christmas items, but I figured I could find a few things to adorn my house.  To be honest, the store was primarily Christmas-only decorations.  They were many pretty items, but as a Jew who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, they weren’t going to work for me.  The cases of ornaments did catch my eye, though, and I began thinking I could put them in a large bowl or vase.  I didn’t purchase them at the store since I wanted to see what else was available online. Online had a much larger selection and I picked out a few items. Now keep in mind what I told you: I’m not a decorator.  I figured I’d start small and just set out a few items this year and grow my collection (and decorating skills) from there.  Though my little Chanukah table is simple, I think it’s still pretty.

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(For the record, I do have a “real” menorah that we light each night, but it’s covered in wax and didn’t look as nice in the picture.)

The box of 30 shatterproof ornaments I got was just a little over five dollars.  Clearly I don’t buy ornaments on the regular, but I thought that was a great value.  I want to get a package of blue, too.  I also ordered an Interfaith Decorations Deluxe Hanukkah Tree Topper, but it hasn’t arrived yet.  I might have missed the “tree topper” part when ordering because I thought it just looked like a pretty Jewish star decoration! #newbiedecorator

hanukkah topper

Doesn’t have to go on a tree; it’ll look nice on a table, I’m sure!

Kmart and Sears recently conducted a survey and found that:

  • 1 in 4 Americans will begin to deck the halls one month before the holiday.
  • 41% of Americans defined their signature design as “classic,” followed by “colorful” (37%) and “vintage” (12%).
  • More than half (58%) of participants felt the most essential decoration for the holidays was the Christmas tree
  • Nearly 25% of Americans choose decorating as their favorite holiday activity, with listening to Christmas music and shopping as other favorites.

My thoughts?  I definitely don’t decorate a month before; I’m the biggest procrastinor all the time.  I just set up my little Chanukah table this week.  Chanukah started this week.. My signature design?  Hmm, I suppose I am “vintage wannabe.”  Obviously the Christmas tree is not the most essential decoration for me.  For me, it’s the menorah.  My favorite holiday activity is definitely spending time with the family!

tbt chaunkah

big family celebrations during the holidays are the best!

To celebrate the uniqueness of this holiday tradition, Sears and Kmart are launching the Best Dressed Home Sweepstakes to capture how you and others across the US are decorating.

  • Between 11/17-12/26, visit http://bit.ly/BestDressedHomeSweeps answer the poll questions and upload a photo of your home decked out for the holidays for a chance to win Shop Your Way points.
  • 60 people will instantly win $50 in Shop Your Way points—you can enter daily!
  • 1 grand prize winner will win 1 million Shop Your Way points.

It really is super easy to enter and most of you probably take pictures of your holiday decorations anyway!

Since it’s Thursday, let’s take a look at a couple more Throwback Thursday Chanukah pictures.  (I LOVE looking at old photos!)

1997 chanukah

gotta love those awkward years! 😉

Some cuter tbt Chanukah pictures:

1989 chanukah

I think this was 1989.  We were celebrating Chanukah at my grandparents’ house, and their bar area is still set up the same way!  Gotta love my dad’s ‘stache, my mom’s tennis outfit, Justin and I are both in overalls, Stephanie looks exactly like her son Jacob, and Jason, the oldest of us all, is too cool for pictures.  Do you see a slight William resemblance in Justin?  When William was a tiny baby, I always said that I thought he looked like Justin a little bit; I think this picture shows that.  I think it’s the cheeks, eyes, and eyebrows.

And one last one:

1992 chanukah

I think this was around 1992.  Everyone always got to light their own menorah (holding a candle with fire was a big deal when you were a kid!).  I love how Jason, Stephanie, and my dad all have the same shaped glasses.  I love that I’m wearing a robe because, still to do this day, I live in robes.  And I love that Justin is making a wolf sign with his fingers?  Why?  No one knows.

Do you decorate your home for the holidays?  What are some of your family’s holiday traditions?  Happy Chanukah to those that celebrate!

Foodie Gift Guide

I love love love shopping for people and deciding what to get them for the holidays.  Giving is definitely more fun than receiving for me, especially when I find something that I know they’re going to love.  However, some people are just downright hard to shop for!  You know the ones… They’re the ones who have everything and need nothing.  Know what the perfect solution is? FOOD!  Everyone loves food, and these items make the perfect gift for even the hardest person to shop for!  Giving food items is unexpected, and most of the time, my recipients aren’t familiar with these brands, which makes it all the more fun.

These are also perfect if you need to do any last minute shopping.  Buy it online, print out a card, and it will be delivered to their house!  So easy. Best unique gift ever.

The Foodie Gift Guide of 2014

foodie gift guide

Note: This post is not sponsored. These are not affiliate links. I truly believe in these companies, spend my own money on them, and think they make great gifts.  I’ve gifted most of them already in the past!

foodie gift guide1

  • NatureBox: Deliciously fun, naturally easy snacks delivered to your door. This is a snack box subscription and you have the choice of gifting two months, five months, or ten months.  I love gifting subscriptions because it’s like the gift that keeps on giving.  Everyone eats snacks, and these are definitely not your typical snacks.  Plus, they’re healthy – bonus!
  • Sizzlefish: Pure natural seafood delivered to your door.  I gifted this to my brother and his wife for their wedding back in the summer.  They didn’t “need” anything else, and love cooking. Sizzlefish has several different options of fish such as the new product sampler, holiday sampler, or the paleo prime.
  • Perky Jerky: All natural, ultra premium beef or turkey jerky that contains NO nitrates, NO preservatives, and NO added MSG. All the boys in my family got this for gifts one year. There are four flavors, and none of them disappoint.  They make for a delicious, healthy snack.  And who doesn’t love jerky?
  • Blue Apron: Complete meals with 500-700 calories per serving, 35 minutes to prepare, pre-portioned ingredients to save time and reduce waste, easy to follow beautifully printed recipe cards. This is actually one company that I haven’t tried myself, but Lindsay and Courtney both reviewed it and I think it sounds like a really fun gift!  It eliminates the need to decide what’s for dinner, prepare a grocery list. or even go to the grocery store.  Everything you need comes to you!

And now for my peanut butter lovers…

foodie gift guide2

  • A Loving Spoon: Honey vanilla bourbon peanut butter. This stuff is RIDICULOUS!  It’s created by FitFluential Ambassador Sarah Kay Hoffman, so you’re also supporting a small business.  This stuff is the bomb.
  • NuttZo: The only seven nut and seed butter on the planet! This is the real deal.  It’s for the ultimate nut and seed butter lover.  It’s gourmet, and they have an amazing story, too.
  • PB CravePeanut butter with a twist. It comes in four mouth-watering flavors: choco choco, coco bananas, razzle dazzle (my favorite!), and cookie nookie.
  • Peanut Butter & Co.Ten cool flavors to savor that come in jars or on the go squeeze packets! Flavors: smooth operator, crunch time, cinnamon raisin swirl, the heat is on, white chocolate wonderful (my favorite!), dark chocolate dreams, the bee’s knees, mighty maple, old fashioned smooth, and old fashioned crunchy.

For the person who loves to have healthy, convenient snacks on the go in bar form:

foodie gift guide4

Or, you could put together a basket with any of the above items or below items:

foodie gift guide3

  • Love Grown Foods:  Their mission is to create incredibly delicious foods that are full of nutritional benefits and that are available to everyone, while educating kids, parents, and teachers on the importance of eating healthy. Three fabulous products: Power O’s: made navy beans, garbanzo beans, and lentils, Super Oats is a hot cereal blend that pack a SUPER nutritional punch and cooks in three minutes, Hot Oats make healthy eating easy, convenient, and affordable (single serve cup is full of flavor, fiber, and protein), and Oat Clusters is a gluten-free granola that is sure to satisfy! So many healthy options!
  • CocogoReal fruit hydration in a handle little package. It’s naturally flavored freeze dried coconut water that comes in grape, lemon-lime, and passion fruit. [Use code ITZLINZ for additional 10% off.]
  • Mamma ChiaSeed your soul. Mamma Chia makes vitality beverages, chia squeeze packets, energy beverages, and of course, chia seeds.  Chia seeds contain powerful antioxidants, protein, fiber, and omega-3s.

There ya have it, folks! Something for everyone!  Make sure you check out their social media pages because many of the brands often run promotions or specials during the holidays which makes your job even easier!

What foodie item do you think would make a fun, unique, delicious gift?