The Gift Guide: the one with the experiences

Happy FRIIIIDAAAYYYY! We've been doing gift guides of sorts all week and I think both Nicole and I have really enjoyed it. I did for the ladies and gents in your life, she did for the kitchen and baby lovers and today I'm going to share a bunch of experiences well worth gifting this Christmas

A few years ago I decided that our parents have everything they need and that my aunts and uncles just buy what they want when they want it, so experiences were really the way to go. I've come up with a handful of great options for you and yours and please!! share other ideas in the comments as I'm nowhere near done with my shopping for this year.

1. A cooking classI've spoken on here before about my favorite cooking classes and I'm going to endorse them again. Hipcooks is amazing, they're super laid back and a ton of fun. This gift rings in at $75 a class per person, but it's well worth it. Not to mention, Hipcooks has 7 locations now!

2. On the same theme... give them a food or pub crawl/tour! In Seattle you can purchase food tours of Pike Place Market which I've heard are pretty amazing. I'm sure other large cities have similar experiences and it sounds like so much fun to me! Plus, it's a great date idea at only $45 a person.

3. A fitness subscription! Do you have a friend or loved one who travels a lot but still likes to stay in shape? Or maybe just a friend who prefers to workout at home, rather than the gym. Either way, this idea is perfect. I am personally digging this Download Yoga option where you get unlimited streaming of 1,000s of yoga videos for only $12 a month! 

4. Try The WorldI think this is an awesome subscription idea for the more adventurous cooks in your life. Think of Blue Apron or HelloFresh but add in recipes and cooking techniques from all over the world. I got this for my aunts last year and with a one box gift starting at only $40, it's totally reasonable! 

5. I'm all about getting to know your city better and CityPass is a great way to do that. They have them in a bunch of major cities and essentially it's a pass that gets you discounts at the major attractions the city has to offer. For Seattle, they offer discounts at the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises, the zoo and more! You can get a CityPass for as little as $75 for an adult if you buy it on sale.

6. Give them a day at the tracks! I've had a few friends get their husbands these cool exotic car experiences and there are several options for them in Seattle alone, I have to imagine other cities have similar things. Basically you get a pass to drive a Ferrari or a Lambo for a few laps around a track and experience the rush of speed and power! 

7. Indoor Skydiving!!  Have some friends who are just a bit too chicken to go skydiving with you? Count me into that group. But besides that point, this looks like a ton of fun - you get to go skydive in a controlled, indoor environment. No plummeting to your death here! This isn't the least expensive gift ever at nearly $80 - but it sure would be an experience! 

8. Get them a dinner cruise or a dinner mystery train ride or something like that. That's way more fun than a gift card to a restaurant! This is another experience that's about $80 per person but in most cases, they serve you a multi-course meal and they take you around and point out sights and attractions. I've done these over the years and always enjoy myself! 

And that wraps up our week of gift guides. What did you guys think? Find anything your loved ones just have to have? What about additional experiences, I've thought about zoo memberships and things of that nature, but what could I get for other people without kids? 

Samantha's Signature

10 Adorable Baby Boutiques You Need to Checkout this Holiday Season

Well people, we are officially more than half way through the week. Well done. We have almost survived our first full week back from the long weekend, and I for one could not be more proud of you all. It is hard work bouncing back from all of that eating and family time, and you are killing it. Give yourself a pat on the back because you deserve it!

In honor of recognizing your awesomeness I am going to treat you to something very special today. For the past 8.5 months I have been hunting for the most adorable baby boutiques to help prepare me for this little man's arrival and today I have decided to share my top 10 favorite boutiques I have stumbled across on this journey. Some of these I am sure you will have heard about while others might not be so familiar, but I assure you they are all fabulous!

#1 | Little Unicorn 

Known for: quality and affordable baby good including Diaper Bags, Nursery DΓ©cor, nursing and bath time accessories, and the most adorable and unique swaddles / blankets.

#2 | Monica + Andy 

Known for: Quality children's attire and blankets, using the finest organic material, and my personal favorite - the cuddle boxes! I am obsessed with the cuddle box - they will be my baby shower gift of choice moving forward!

#3 | Rock and Rollick

Known for: Super adorable and unique bedding and nursery dΓ©cor. I purchased the picture featured above for baby D's room and I cannot wait to show you all how well it pulls the room together once we reveal his room!

# 4 | Little Me

Known for: super adorable and affordable newborn and infant clothing. If you want a stylish baby, you want Little Me.

# 5 | Moss & Marsh

Known for: beautifully handcrafted products that are dedicated to making parenting easier.

# 6 | Kindred Wrap

Known for: beautifully crafted wraps and slings that are both stylish and functional. Extra points for being a Seattle based brand <3

# 7 | WildBird 

Known for: beautifully crafted wraps and slings to carry your newborn, infant, and toddler! They even have mini slings so your little ones can get on the fun. 

# 8 | Nixi Lauroo

Known for: high quality women and children's clothing and accessories. Everything on this site is 100% adorable, functional, and so unique. I wish I found this site earlier, because I assure you my nursery would have hunts of Nixi Lauroo all over it if I did!

# 9 | Funky Letter Baby Boutique

Known for: Just like the name suggests, Funky Letter Baby Boutique is known for crafting funky letters to give your nursery that extra pop of flare! Since we have not decided on a name yet, I have had to hold off on buying anything from here, but trust me once this baby is named we are placing our order!

# 10 | Alpine Baby Co.

Known for: alright, I absolutely saved my favorite for last. This Montana based brand is adorable and celebrates all things outdoors and woodsy. I am obsessed with the apparel and cannot wait to drape our baby boy in Alpine Baby Co. from head to toe!

And there you have it- my top 10 favorite baby boutiques that I have spent hours drooling over throughout my pregnancy! I hope you enjoy and maybe find a few things that you love too!

Know of any other amazing stores that I need to check out? Let's hear them below!

The Gift Guide: For Him

This week has been all about Gift Guides! For her, for the kitchen (my fav!) and today for him! We all have guys in our lives, brothers, fathers, friends, friends with benefits (we don't judge here), hubbies, whatever the relationship, I've got the gift for you, err - them, today! 

I'm crossing my fingers that you already thought of a few of these and grabbed them while they were on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales but if not, don't fret! This guide covers cheap-y-cheap to pricey and some items are still on sale!

Without Further Ado...

2016 Gift Guide for Him

I can sincerely vouch for several of these as I've gotten them for Justin and he's loved them... 

1. Starting with one of the most expensive items on the list, the Amazon Echo at $179 (or the slightly less expensive Google Assistant - $145). Apparently, this thing is needed in every household and then OH OH buy the Dots too so you can have one in every room. I personally think it's a bit ridiculous but people are going gaga over these things. Say "Alexa" and start to record your grocery list by voice, hook it up to all your smart home devices to control your heat and lights and everything else. I'll admit it seems cool... I just know that I wouldn't use it to itiaVs full potential - but a spot on the list it gets! 



2. These Allbirds Wool Runners for $95. I love these shoes, and frankly want them for myself, but alas, they're for men. I've never heard of this brand but came across these on Pinterest and just think they're incredibly stylish while supposedly being great for exercising and running. I MIGHT even like them more than Nikes. But don't tell anyone that.

3. Yes, yes and yes. Every guy needs a good "weekend bag". For that two day trip you guys take to a nearby town, for the guys weekend at the lake, this type of bag is PERFECT. I got Justin one of these a couple years ago and it's stylish and just the right size, he loves it and I'm convinced every man needs one. This particular bag is the Ulgoo Travel Duffel ringing in at only $44!!

4. Now we're getting into the super affordable gifts. Nearly anywhere you live in the US will get at least a few days a year of glove weather. I recommended tech-friendly gloves for the gal in your life and I think that these are the ones for the fella. The Isotoner Men's Smartouch Tech Stretch Gloves (holy run-on-name) are only $15 on Amazon right now - winning! 

5. These little portable chargers are the most amazing things ever. Justin and I each have one and nearly every time I pull it out in front of someone... the next time I see them they have one too! They will easily charge a phone from nearly dead to full and are easy to charge themselves. Not to mention - cheap cheap cheap! At only $13 this Anker PowerCore+ Mini Portable Charger is a must have.

6. I can't promise you this is the exact set the beer lover in your life needs, but it's a pretty cool one. The point is, a set of all the cool beer glasses is just... well cool. This one is only $32 so I think the Libbey Craft Brew Sampler Beer Glass Set is kinnnnnnd of a winner.

7. Okay, so you may be thinking I'm crazy for putting a $42 belt on here, but it's seriously so good. First off, Mission Belt, the company, was on Shark Tank. As if that's not enough... Every belt purchased helps feed people around the world, I strongly suggest you read the companies mission. And lastly, Justin's had his for years and it's still in amazing condition. They look amazing, they're for a good cause, and the seem to stand the test of time. Love these things.

8. Lastly - the man in your life (every man in your life...) needs a good set of bluetooth headphones. In part, because they'll work with his new iPhone7, but also because cords are a pain in the ass at the gym, or running or... doing anything active what-so-ever. I personally like these AYL Bluetooth Headphones that ring in (RIGHT NOW) at only $29.99 - vs. their usual $139, but there are a million nice pairs out there, for every budget.

What do you think of these? Am I missing anything major? I need some tips on what to get Justin because he clearly already owns almost everything listed above...

Samantha's Signature