gift guide

Shop: Christmas Gift Guides by Kate Brightbill

I’m under no illusions that all children want the same items for Christmas, but I created a little gift guide for people who have run out of gifting ideas and need some simple things for the kids QUICK because Christmas is soooo soon. Time is legit flying for me.

This year, I’m attempting to curb the consumerism slightly by having a template of “want/need/wear/read” for the kids. I love gifting needs the best. Do my kids truly “need” anything? Not really, but some gaps in the I was going to buy it anyway can be filled with a wrapped box with a bow, and I’m a great believer in that sort of gifting. Sophie has outgrown all her sneakers, so new ones are in the need box. Maggie needs a bigger helmet and a bike bell, so I’m trying to find the cutest versions that will make her smile. Jack needs to learn some math concepts, so that’s going to happen with educational toys. A couple years ago, we gifted the girls a table and chairs that they have used literally every day since, but there was huge excitement when they walked out to it on Christmas morning, and Rice cups in all the cutest colors to replace their old broken kid cups. I’m a useful gift nerd.

Want:  Petit Collage Game  || Need:  Mathlink Cubes  || Wear:  Hoodie  and  Shoes  || Read:  Say Zoop  &  Chugga Chugga
  1. Want: Jack is the biggest gamer I’ve ever met in three-year-old form. He wants to play games that are way too old for his ability, so I want to get some more age-appropriate. Petit Collage has the hands-down best collection, and he already owns & loves this one. I cheated because he already owns this one, but it’s definitely a good game option, and I definitely plan to order another game from them.

  2. Need: Also cheated the system because he owns these specific math cubes already, but he LOVES them, and they’re perfect for taking places and practicing math concepts. Other education (less photogenic) ideas are the IQ Builder Construction Engineering, which he has and plays with every single day, and the IQ Builder Kinetic sand, which is what is ACTUALLY under our Christmas tree for him. Both of those come in great storage boxes and are STEM toys, which are always my favorites. Magna tiles are our other go-to toy, and if we didn’t already get the sand, we were also considering an extra set to build bigger projects.

  3. Wear: His slide-on vans are cute and so simple to wear, and he needs an updated pair that isn’t covered in dirt. We also love hoodies from Zara, and they get a ton of use year-round in SF because of that beloved fog and chill. ;) He also wears a lot of henleys because they’re super cute, and I got him this one in blue and brown on black Friday for 30% off.

  4. Read: Jack is one of those adorable kids who memorizes books and reads them to me. His favorites are the Tip Tip, Dig Dig series (I really should take a video of him reading every one of them, every page), and the Press Here series (Mix it Up is my personal favorite). Thankfully, BOTH series released new versions recently, so he’s going to be VERY excited about his new books.

Maggie’s turn. Maggie knows her mind and made a great list to make it easy(ish).

  1. Want: Wellie Wisher accessories to go with her doll. This age is perfect for Wellie Wishers (and their books!).

  2. Need: Maggie’s bike helmet is too small, and we ride bikes all the time, so it’s becoming a little problem. She really hopes for a teal helmet that looks like this pink one…. I can’t find one, so I think I might actually have to go IN PERSON to shop for one in the city. She also would like a bike bell so she won’t have to yell “excuse me! pardon! thank you!” when she attempts to pass pedestrians on the sidewalks and paths.

  3. Wear: Maggie actually is rather difficult to surprise. She has all the intuition and pays attention to details. I bought this skirt and boots on Black Friday after she had told me how much she loved them, then left with her gramma… later that week, she said “Really, the PERFECT outfit for today would be that skirt you got me for Christmas with this shirt.” Sooooo… apparently I wasn’t sneaky enough, haha.

  4. Read: Princess in Black books are easy reading, but adorable for this age group. Maggie loves that she’s kind of fancy but kind a hero as well. I think she thinks of herself the same way. ;)

Want:  FLair Pens  || Need:  Converse  || Wear:  Tees  and  Jeans  (favs are the superskinnys) || Read:  The Mysterious Benedict Society books

Want: FLair Pens || Need: Converse || Wear: Tees and Jeans (favs are the superskinnys) || Read: The Mysterious Benedict Society books

Sophie is at an age where things start feeling a bit simpler. She loves accessories and jewelry, and she loves science, so those are always top picks, but very specific. Here are some ideas that a lot of girls her age love:

  1. Want: Flair Pens. Maggie loves these and has a huge pack she received as a gift, but they’re the kind of thing that feels too special to share all the time. Sophie would love her own.

  2. Need: School shoes. Right now it’s high top converse or checkered vans. She had black converse that she outgrew, and vans that are just destroyed, so both need to be replaced. :)

  3. Wear: Fourth graders seem to wear mostly jeans or basic leggings. Sophie mixes in culottes and skirts, but most days she loves good fun tees and jeans.

  4. Read: The Mysterious Benedict Society books were recommended to me at a bookstore. It was a perfect recommendation; they are on Sophie’s Christmas wish list. They’re mystery stories, but not with too much intensity. They’re good and long, so they’re not finished in one quick sitting. The reviews are great, and Sophie gives them her total approval.

Happy gifting! xx

*affiliate links included in post

For the Mothers by Kate Brightbill

Mother's day is coming and I've collected a few favorite pieces for the moms you love. Personally, I just want a good brunch in bed and a cozy afternoon nap, but anything on this list would make me happy.

Mother's Day | StyleSmaller
  • BloomThat Bouquet  - BloomThat flowers for San Franciscans are SUCH a gorgeous option at a reasonable price point that provide beauty for days.
  • Anglestack Necklace - I'm a sucker for a long gold necklace with an interesting pendant.
  • Eden Scarf - The Eden scarf provides a fair work place for underprivileged women in Africa {!!!}.
  • Instax Camera - A fun camera is perfect for snapping shots of little cuties in your life.
  • Textured Bangle Set - Bangles add some flavor to any outfit.
  • One Line a Day - One Line a Day to capture quick memories as your kids grow! LOVE this.
  • Essie Polish Set - Essie polish in pretty summer shades.


*Post includes affiliate links. Flowers c/o BloomThat.

Gift Guide: For the Kiddos by Kate Brightbill

Gift guide season is nearly over, and we're saving a couple of the best gift guides for last: kids! I asked some shop and blogger friends to help share their favorites again, so be sure to visit their sites to get inspiration! 

For the Men // For the Ladies // Shop Small // Shop Local // Party Planning

Kiddos Gift Guide.jpg

Happy Shopping! Are you guys almost done? I'm about halfway through, but really I just have to click a few buttons and finish my orders. I lovvve gifting. Brian and I get so excited about it, particularly when we think we got exactly what someone really wants. I have a love/hate with wrapping. It takes me awhile to be motivated to sit and wrap, but once I do, I love it. We have sparkly gold for a few gifts that we used as a table runner for Sophie's birthday party, and it miraculously didn't get dirty at all! It's the pretty paper that is motivating me to get it done sooner rather than later! 

So today is the day. Finishing the ordering and completing the wrapping. I love Christmastime. xoxo.


Gift Guide: For the Ladies by Kate Brightbill


Modcloth Fingerless Gloves // Forest Necklace //

Rifle Paper Calendar // Monogramed Wristlet //

C.Wonder Cake Stand // Madewell Transport Tote // Brika Bracelet

Another day, another gift guide. Dun Dun Duuuuunnn, all the sales are coming in 3.5 days!! If there ever was a time for guides on gifts, it's now. I assembled a board for the ladies using picks from friends with good taste {and I couldn't resist adding that gorgeous bracelet from Brika!}

Here are today's gift guiders... follow their blogs, follow their magazines, shop in their shops! You won't be disappointed:


PJ Feinstein- blogger at Bunny and Dolly, mama to Levi, living in Omaha. Follow @bunnyanddolly.

Melissa Sanchez- blogger & photographer at Savvy in San Francisco, mama of three, and a great friend. Follow @savvyinsanfran.

Amanda Gomes- my sister!! Creator of Delighted Magazine, mama to Camille, and the best. Follow @delightedmag.

Erin Austen Abbott- Owner of my favorite online shop, Amelia, mama to Tom. Follow @ameliapresents.

Brittany Bishop- Blogger at Life of Charmings, mama to Maddalena. Follow @beebeebishop.


I may get some more gift guides up this week... OR I may get all sentimental about Sophie turning five and share all my thoughts about any and everything "growing up" and such. Stay tuned and find out. Ha! 




Gift Guide: For the Men by Kate Brightbill

'Tis the season: gift guide time!! 

We all have different tastes and styles, so I've asked some of my favorite friends on the internet to help with gift guides this year, so I can mix things up and give you variety! I'm starting with gifts for the MEN in our lives. They often are the trickiest so they get the shaft on gift guiding, so I'm flipping everything and showing our picks for men FIRST! Enjoy!


Who are the people making such fabulous picks, you ask? Let me tell you:


Erin Austen Abbott: Owner of my favorite online shop Amelia, mama to Tom Otis {more about Erin HERE}. Follow @ameliapresents

Brittany Bishop: Blogger at Life of Charmings, mama to Maddalena. Follow @beebeebishop

Erin Taylor: My cousin, friend, owner of Bustle Events, blogger at Pocket Stylist {more about Erin HERE}. Follow @bustledesigns