gift guide for your wheels-obsessed, energetic, curious and helpful toddler

Xavier turns TWO in just over a week, which feels impossible. Wasn't he just my teeny, squishy newborn!? Time will forever be a mystery to me. One thing I DO love about him getting older is how his personality continues to develop and we see more of his likes and dislikes every day. This year it's been really fun to pick out birthday gifts for him, feeling like we know him as his own individual person and what things he'll get excited about. Spoiler alert: basically anything with wheels. I put together a fun little gift guide for anyone else that might have a wheels-obsessed, energetic, curious and helpful little guy (or gal!) in their life. I can't wait for Xavier to open the gifts I picked out and see his eyes light up. Parenthood is so. much. fun!


Wooden triangle car. This village set is also adorable.

Child-sized corn broom. You're like, a broom!? But this kid loves sweeping. I've tried to trick him with hand brooms so he can "help" me sweep, but he ALWAYS wants the real-live big broom. I'm hoping this one fits the bill!

Magnetic fishing set. (Note: we have several Soopsori brand wooden toys, and they hold up well to the rough-and-tumble toddler play!)

Durable recycling truck, with slots to put things in and a back gate that actually opens!

Rainstick, for making fun sounds and experimenting with music.

A sweet little set of construction vehicles, with parts and pieces that really move! Xavier is going to love the excavator.

Retro-looking balance bike, as a stepping stone to a dirtbike (just kidding, Matt.) We decided to save this for Christmas (does it get more classic than a bike by the tree with a big red bow on top?) and I can't wait for him to get it!

Schleich wild animal set - perfect for practicing those animal sounds he loves.

A cozy rocking hammock for him to snuggle up and read books.

Sweet little desk where he can get creative any time he wants.

Adorable leather playmat for driving his cars and trucks.

Classic red wheelbarrow perfect for little hands.

I can't wait for Xavier to open the gifts I picked out and see his eyes light up. Parenthood is so. much. fun!

simplified gift guide: for hostesses

We've come to the end of my gift guide series with the last installment: gifts for hostesses. I don't know what it is about showing up with a gift when attending a party that makes me feel so grown up and fancy, but I love it! The holiday season is perfect for showing hostesses some extra love, and below are my top picks for little trinkets. Happy shopping!

1. A lovely smelling candle. The classic Capri Blue candle by Anthropologie is, happily, made in the USA!

2. A darling vase to hold matches, that doubles as a match striker. Beats the flimsy cardboard box any day!

3. A fun game for the whole family, made of maple in Vermont. Beautiful salad claws.

4. Gorgeous handmade serving board, made out of acacia wood, which will last forever.

5. Stunning, sleek marble coasters, made right here in the USA.

6. Fair-trade coffee scoop, paired with a bag of gourmet coffee.

7. A marble mortar-and-pestle, for grinding up herbs and spices, or just leaving on display!

8. Understated and beautiful salt cellar, paired with some pink Himalayan sea salt.

9. A fresh, made-to-order eucalyptus wreath would be a lovely addition to any Christmas decor and last well beyond the holiday. A definite splurge, but absolutely gorgeous.

10. Beautiful salad claws.

simplified gift guide: for pets

If you're a dog or cat lover, your pet is probably part of the family. So, I rounded up a few gift ideas for your furry friends! Scout usually gets a new toy and a special treat at Christmas, so I shared some of my favorite ideas below! Most of these have dogs in mind, but many of the companies listed also cater to the feline friends as well :)

1. A cozy bed, neutral enough to keep in the living room.

2. Flying frisbee, for hours of backyard fun. Bonus: this company guarantees their products, so if your dog ever bites through the material, you can send back the ruined pieces and they replace it for free! It's taken nearly five years and two dogs to tear ours, and I'm sending it back next week for a new one. My last dog would rip a regular frisbee to shreds in about twenty minutes, so these frisbees are the real deal.

3. Fancy shampoo, for keeping Fido's coat nice and shiny.

4. Sleek food scoop, so you can finally throw out that battered old plastic cup. Okay, so this is a really a gift for you. Don't tell anyone.

5. Customizable pet sweatshirt. There are some hilarious ones already on the site, but you can also add anything you want to the back of this snuggly shirt!

6. Gorgeous ceramic food bowl - dishwasher safe! Okay, okay, so this is also sort of a gift for you. Who's counting?!

7. Gourmet treats made of premium ingredients.

8. A new leather leash, built to last for your pet's whole life.

simplified gift guide: for kids

Hi friends! It's been so fun doing these gift guides, and I hope you're enjoying them! Today I'm back with another installment: gift guide for kids. Specifically, my curious, rambunctious, sweet little boy. Xavier will be 15 months by Christmas, so these toys have that age in mind. Also, I should mention that I do think experiences always trump things, but at this age it's hard to tell what experiences kids would enjoy or appreciate. So we're going with a "less is more" approach to gift-giving, and gifting Xavier a few thoughtful, intentional, well-made toys we think he'll love for years to come. Here are some of my favorite picks. Enjoy!

1. Fun wooden fishing set.

2. A warm hat, with ears, because every little one should wear clothing with ears for as long as possible, amen?

3. An ethically made tshirt, with a slogan to take to heart.

4. This ramp race, which would entertain any wheels-loving kiddo for hours. Okay, at least ten minutes.

5. A play kitchen I wouldn't mind keeping out. A wooden play food set and a set of dishes would make perfect coordinating gifts! (IKEA also has a dreamy play kitchen, and there are tons of ideas for how to hack it online.)

6. These adorable dog puppets made out of recycled wool are too cute. They don't have delivery outside of the UK listed, but it says you can email them for rates.

7. An all-in-one music set, because anything noisy is automatically a winner, amiright?!

8. Of course, beautiful board books. I love the All Aboard! Books by Haily Myers, the alphabet books by Greg Paprocki and the bilingual books by Patty Rodriguez!

9. Periodic table block set, because it's so nerdy it's awesome. These blocks are made in the USA, and they have several other versions, including a Spanish set and a French set!

10. A cuddly friend, made responsibly in India.

simplified gift guide: for her

Next up in my simple, ethical gift guides are gift ideas for the lovely ladies in your life. Your mom, your sister, your BFF, your babysitter. Enjoy!

1. Classic gold studs, to go with everything.

2. A statement necklace she'd love to wear.

3. Beautiful, handmade bookmark (pair with a beautiful copy of your favorite novel for an extra treat!)

4. Beginner calligraphy kit, because it's always fun to learn something new.

5. A baby-friendly necklace, for all the mamas in your life.

6. An heirloom pie server for her world-famous apple pie.

7. Coffee mug guaranteed to make her chuckle.

8. Lovely smelling bath salts, because every woman needs some extra pampering. (This charcoal mask also looks great.)

9. Leather clutch, for tucking all the essentials into her purse.

10. One-of-a-kind camera strap that benefits those in need.