Christmas Gift Guide – A Good Gift Guide

Christmas Gift Guide 2017

The holidays are by far my favorite time of year, especially since we have a little one. All the excitement and joy is just so much fun. Another part of the holidays I love is spoiling those I love. And to be fair, I don’t mind receiving some great gifts either.

To help make your shopping easier this year, I’ve put together 4 curated guides to help give you ideas. Hopefully you’ll find them handy and be able to get everyone on your list checked off quickly so you can go enjoy their company.

Also, this year, I’ve been using this amazing little browser extension called Honey. If you aren’t familiar with it yet, then let me know tell you about it real quick. Basically, you just install this in your browser and it automatically finds coupons, promo codes and other deals you may not have found already and let’s you know if you are getting the best price for whatever it is you are looking at. Go give it a try!

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Gift Guide for Kids 2017

Row One: Leather Piggy Bank by Shinola ($155) | Jacquard Cardigan from Zara ($35) | Work Bench by Hearth + Hand ($99)
Row Two: Cordy Roy Fox from Jellyfox ($25) | Mini Balance Bike by Public Bikes ($130) | Rain Boots by Hunter ($55)
Row Three: Wagon from Plantoys ($70) | Pompoms Sweatshirt from Zara ($20) | Constellation Blocks by Uncle Goose ($25)
Row Four: Smallbirds Wool Runners from Allbirds ($55) | One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses | Printed Hat by Pulp Co. ($40)

Christmas Gift Guide for Mothers 2017

Row One: Diffuser by Stadler Form ($60) | The Human Woman French Terry Sweatshirt from Everyone ($45) | Clara Crossbody Purse by Nisolo ($140)
Row Two: Cats & Plants by Stephen Eichhorn ($45) | Nomad Balanced Perfume Oil from Made By Yoke ($46) | BEOPLAY A1 from B&O Play ($249)
Row Three: The Post Wallet from Madewell ($78) | The Wool-Cashmere Waffle Square Crew from Everyone ($130) | Rya Weaving Kit from The Crafter’s Box ($80)
Row Four: Hygge Collection Candle from Paddywax ($28) | The Essential Gardener by Barebones ($115) | Wool Slippers from Armor-Lux ($85)

Christmas Gift Ideas for Dads 2017

Row One: Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera from FujiFilm ($115) | The Cashmere Crew from Everlane ($100) | Time Teller Watch from Nixon ($63)
Row Two: Wool Runners from Allbirds ($95) | Bluetooth Headphones by Omars ($45) | 10 Piece Home Tool Care Kit from Grace USA ($119)
Row Three: Sunglasses from Ray-Ban ($140) | Stainless Steel Flask from Izola ($42)  | Classic Analog Alarm Clock by Braun ($29)
Row Four: Skateboard from Yocaher ($46) | Cold Brew Coffee Maker from Ovalware ($36) | Wonderboom Speaker from Ultimate Ears ($80)

Row One: Mini Domino Set from Paladone ($12) | Plain Wooden Yoyo from Maple Landmark ($6) | Fox Puzzle by Petit Collage ($12)
Row Two: The Tile Mate by Tile ($25) | 2018 Year Task Planner by Appointed ($38) | 10 ft Night Cable by Native Union ($40)
Row Three: Wonders Of The World from Marvis ($22) | Cord Taco’s by This Is Ground ($16) | Toothbrush by Quip ($45)
Row Four: Sherpa Shut-Eye Sleep Mask from Madewell ($15) | Pineapple Shot Glasses from W&P Design ($35) |  Keyring from Fred & Friends ($17)


A First Birthday Party, Almost a Year Later

first birthday party woodsy adventure invite(front of Forrest’s birthday invite, designed by myself)

As Forrest’s second birthday quickly approaches, I thought it might be nice to finally share some images and words about his first birthday. Clearly, having an almost two year old makes it far harder to keep up with this blog. Between running a successful photography business with my wife and trying to maintain a work/life balance, the blog has been put on the back burner a bit. Good news is that I am about to move into a new co-working space where I am hoping I will be more efficient with my work, thus giving mysef more time to put effort into this blog, because I really have grown attached to it and love what it is/was becoming.

mountain adventure fall first birthday(Teepee tent, pillows from Amazon. Bear from Target. Blanket from Modern Burlap)

I’ll admit, I was one of those people who thought it was ridiculous to throw a one year old a big party and go all out when they won’t even remember it. But I get it now. It’s not just for the child, but also, if not even more so, for the parents. It’s a celebration of making it through a year with this little human. And sure, he won’t remember exactly remember his first birthday party, but he’ll have photographs of it to look at later in life. He’ll be able to see just how much he was and still is loved by all of those friends and family.

Along with tons of help from our family and friends, I would say we pulled off a pretty great first birthday party, especially since it was right toward the end of our busiest part of the year. Oh, and when I say “we”, I really mean my wife, Jessica. She put in the brunt of the work. We held the party at one of the shelters that you can rent out at William B. Umstead State Park. Since Forrest’s birthday is late October and a lot of our life with him involves the mountains and the outdoors, we went for a fall/outdoor/mountain theme.

mountain adventure fall first birthday mountain adventure fall first birthday mountain adventure fall first birthday mountain adventure fall first birthday(Wooden mountain peaks made by friend, outdoor adventure hunt game designed by myself)

As tempting as it can be to put together a super cool party that has no childish vibes at all, we knew it was important to still remember that this party was in fact a one year olds party, so we really tried to make it enjoyable for both kids and adults. We had a good bit of food that would appeal to the adults and then some for the kids as well as the overall design and decorations. I think we succeeded there. Our style for gatherings has always been less pretentious and more laid back, which is how we hope to raise our son, so reflecting that in this party was also important.

mountain adventure fall first birthday mountain adventure fall first birthday mountain adventure fall first birthday mountain adventure fall first birthday(Wooden mountain made by friend, mountain peak milestone painting by our friend Sarah Faucette, WILD ONE balloons from Amazon)


Looking back, I am glad we did all we did for Forrest’s first birthday. It may have seemed like a lot to us in the moment, but the first year is a big year. And heck, we didn’t do nearly as much as a lot of parents do. We knew our limits and kept to them and still had an amazing, memorable time. This year, his birthday might not be as involved, but I guarantee it will be extremely special too.

mountain adventure fall first birthday 016-mountain-adventure-fall-first-birthday 020-mountain-adventure-fall-first-birthday 018-mountain-adventure-fall-first-birthday mountain adventure fall first birthday(Teepee tent, pillows from Amazon. Bear from Target. Blanket from Modern Burlap)

010-mountain-adventure-fall-first-birthday 022-mountain-adventure-fall-first-birthday 011-mountain-adventure-fall-first-birthday 023-mountain-adventure-fall-first-birthday 021-mountain-adventure-fall-first-birthday(Wooden mountain cake topper made by friend, cup stickers made by myself, birch straws from Amazon, Letterboard by Letterfolk)

Children’s Book You’ll Enjoy Reading Over and Over Again Too

best childrens books

If you already have a child, then you know well that whether you were once a reader or not before becoming a parent, that you certainly are now. We all know that reading to your child, even before they are born, is an incredible way to connect, educate and stimulate their rapidly growing minds.

Back when we found out we were having a child, one of the first things we did was buy books to read out loud so that our little guy could learn our voices right away. When he made his way into the world, we kept up with that. It’s paid off in so many ways already. Some of our fondest memories with Forrest so far are during story time. He’s been a book lover since forever and still is.

The thing with children and books is just like children and anything else; they get really attached to one thing or doing a certain thing. They like and need to hear things over and over. I am pretty sure that between my wife and I, we’ve read Little Owl Lost at least 1 million times. So, if you are going to be reading the same thing over and over, you mind as well get some enjoyment out of it too. There are ridiculous amount of books out there for little ones, so naturally, it’s hard to sift through all of them to find the good ones. The ones written well with interesting topics or amazing illustrations and that might even inspire us parents.

So, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite books that Forrest loves and that Jessica and I don’t mind reading over and over. Feel free to share any of your favorites in the comments for others to check out as well!best indie childrens books

1 We Found A Hat by Jon Klassen 2 Home by Carson Ellis 3 This Moose Belongs To Me by Oliver Jeffers 4 Alphabetics by Patrick Concepcion 5 I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen 6 The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers 7 All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer by Haily & Kevin Meyers 8 Dear Bunny… by Blanca Gomez 9 Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton 10 Wendell The Narwhal by Emily Dove 11 Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer 12 Little Blue Chair by Cary Fagan


If you’re anything like me, you are looking at the calendar and just now realizing there are only 16 shopping days left for Christmas. On top of that, you’ve got a huge workload to finish before the end of the year leaving you little to no time to actually go out and do your shopping. So, in the little bit of free time I have, I’ve been compiling these holiday gift guides full of great gifts for your lady, kids and even a list to give to your wife in case you are one of those “impossible” to shop for guys. Good news is that all of the products listed out below can be ordered online and I am 98% sure all of them will arrive before Christmas, if you get on it soon. Here’s to a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Holiday Gift Guide for Fathers

Row One: Fleece Lined Slippers by Woolrich ($40) | The Nordic Cookbook by Mangus Nilsson ($37) | Chef Shirt from Huckberry ($90)
Row Two: Passport Wallet by Fjallraven ($60) | MH30 On Ear Headphones from Master & Dynamic ($329) | Pour Over Stagg Kettle by Fellow ($79)
Row Three: Beanie by Norse Projects ($75) | The Carry On from Away ($225) | Pour-Over Coffee Dripper by Osaka ($36)
Row Four: Project I-1 Analog Instant Camera from Impossible ($300) | Tinford Jacket from Barbour ($179) | Daypack by Filson ($120)

Christmas Gift Guide for Mothers

Row One: Lori Colorblock Tote by Nisolo ($150) | Ellows Throw by Matteo ($165) | Creative Confidence by Tom Kelly ($18)
Row Two: Handbag Essentials from Grown Alchemist ($80) | Out & About Boots from Sorel ($110) | Stargazey Jumper by Finisterre ($127)
Row Three: 2017 Paradise Calendar by Rifle Paper Co. ($26) | Minuit Rose Gold Watch from Cluse ($99) | 3 Candle Gift Box by Norden ($85)
Row Four: Rivington Sweater-Coat from Madewell ($178) | Pouch from Delfonics ($22) | Model B Slippers from Glerups ($95)

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

Row One: Work Bench from A Summer Afternoon ($49) | Plush Trousers from Zara ($16) | Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton ($6)
Row Two: Basic Knit Hat from Zara ($13) | Silver Metal Speedster by Schylling ($100) | Wooden Camera by Fanny & Alexander ($52)
Row Three: Mini Band Wooden Percussion Set from Hape ($29) | Ear Flap Hat With Pompom from Zara ($13) | Wooden Baby Puzzle from Manzanita Kids ($36)
Row Four: This Moose Belongs To Me by Oliver Jeffers ($12) | Table & Chair by PlanToys ($135) | Long Sleeved Footed Romper by Milkbarn ($31)

Stocker Stuffer Ideas 2016

Row One: Cub 41 Solid Cologne from Clyde Oak ($26) | Missouri Socks from Chup ($35) | Wooden Yo-Yo by Son of A Sailor ($28)
Row Two: Key Fob from Madewell ($19.5) | Werewolf: A Party Game for Devious People by Timber & Bolt ($15) | Rubber-Dipped Wooden Pinch Bowl from Madewell x Food52 ($10)
Row Three: Flask from Stanley ($28) | Deer Socks from ANONYMOUS ISM ($28) | Infuse Bottle by Bobble ($15)
Row Four: Natural Wood Teether by Grimms ($14) | Tile Mate by Tile ($25) | The Carry On Cocktail Kit: Old Fashioned by The Carry On Cocktail Kit ($23)


Father’s Day Gift Guide

father's day gift guide

This Father’s Day is certainly going to be special. It’s my first Father’s Day as a father and it also happens to fall on my birthday. My birthday has fallen on Father’s Day in the past of course, but this year it’s a much bigger deal now I am a new father. Although, I’m definitely a lot more excited about it being my first Father’s Day than the part about turning another year older.

father's day gift guide father's day gift guide

As Father’s Day is quickly approaching and Jessica, my wife, has been asking what I’d like for Father’s Day/my birthday, I thought I’d share some ideas in case you haven’t figured out what to get the father in your life. And while Father’s Day isn’t about gifts, or at least it shouldn’t be, saying thank you with something nice, thoughtful and practical means a lot. Let’s be honest though, becoming a father has been the greatest gift in itself and no material possession can beat that, although a few of these might come close. I kid, I kid.

Below is the Father’s Day gift guide I curated to help sparks some ideas and find the perfect gift for this Father’s Day that practically any dad would love and appreciate.  So, no matter what kind of dad you’re celebrating, you’ll definitely find something here.

father's day gift guide

Row One: Camp Stool by Wood & Fault ($165) | The Detroit Arrow from Shinola ($1,100) | Pennants by Oxford Pennant ($20)
Row Two: Fjellkniven Knife by Helle ($114) | Post-Poo Drops from Aesop ($29) | The Homemade Gin Kit by W&P Design ($35)
Row Three: Great American Flask by Jacob Bromwell ($200) | Alarm Flip Clock from Twemco ($130) | Forager 5 Panel from Clyde Oak ($30)
Row Four: Montauk Cotton Rope Hammock from Yellow Leaf Hammocks ($115) | Mississippi Medicine Cologne by D.S. & Durga ($125) | 15″ Toolbox by Best Made Co. ($68)

father's day gift guide

Row One: This Land Tee from Clyde Oak ($28) | Winston Razor Set from Harry’s ($25) | NS2 Air Monitor Speakers by NOCS ($350)
Row Two: Italian Cowhide Wallet from Capsule ($70) | HERO4 Session from GoPro ($200) | Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury ($10)
Row Three: Soapstone Whiskey Glass from American Stoneware ($60) | Dry Day Backpack from Filson ($125) | Water Bottle by Swell ($45)
Row Four: Sphere Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker by Photive ($50) | Emilio Chukka Boot from Nisolo ($178) | Smart Air Quality Monitor by Awair ($197)

father's day gift guide

“It is a wise father that knows his own child” – William Shakespeare

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