Gift Guide: Best Picks for Girls (Specifically, Between Age 2 and 7)

I know what I don't know. As such, you won't find me doling out gift ideas for boys of any age (because I don't have one of my own, totally clueless) or any girl older than my eldest (7), but younger than my 12 year old niece- who I love shopping for, so I have a good handle on what girls that age like.*

But for now, I am sharing what I DO know: gift ideas for girls between 2-7. If anyone on your gifting list falls into that demographic, prepare to screenshot and shop accordingly- because I got this on lock- as the kids say.

(Note: You won't find any of the "buzzy gifts that parents will be fighting for in the toy aisles" here- mostly because I assume you probably know what those are, but also because they tend to be one-hit wonders that kids get bored of quickly...I mean, is your kid still playing with a Furbie on the reg? Didn't think so.)

  1. Throwback Knee High Tube Socks: $8 for a set of 2, these are the ultimate stocking stuffer.
  2. The First Coding Robot For Girls: Ever since seeing this on Shark Tank, I have been totally enamored with not only the founder, but also the concept. (Plus, it is 15% off right now- be sure to check out the site!) I just ordered one for Alexa- and I know she is going to FREAK. 
  3. Pom Pom Stuffed Animal: I only buy stuffed animals that I enjoy looking at- hence, this made the list. So so soft, and does overtime as an impromptu travel pillow thanks to the plush belly that fits perfectly between my 2 year old's head and the side of her carseat.
  4. Care Bears: Dying over the current collaboration with Land of Nod (check it out HERE), and also coveting this super soft Gund Sunshine Bear is everything my '80s wish lists were made of.
  5. Vanity Set: My girls LOVE to play pretend, and I won't mind seeing these beautiful (and well-priced) primping essentials all over the house (since do these things every actually stay contained in a play area? Nope.)
  6. Unicorn Light: The price is right- $16- it is functional (perfect soft light for sleep time) and what girls can say anything but "{DELIGHTED SQUEAL SOUND}" when presented with a Unicorn?
  7. DIY Fashion Cookie Kit: This becomes a perfect playdate activity, and trust me, those cookie cutters will come in handy for those moments when you feel like upping the apple slice style quotient at snack time.
  8. Sewing Machine with Pom Pom Maker: This comes with fabric to do 5 easy-to-sew crafts, but the clincher for me is the pom pom maker attachment since even if she tires of sewing, there is ALWAYS something fun to make with pom poms (for kids and adults alike, to be honest.) Keychains, rugs, emoji characters, even in my case, a wreath! Yup. More to come on that...
  9. STATE Bag Toy Carrier: SO SMART- a stylish way to put the responsibility in your kids' hands- train them to select an edited assortment of toys (only as much as will fit in the case) when heading out for a trip or tagging along to an adult dinner. They will happily carry this bag themselves, and can learn to make sure everything that leaves the house tucked inside makes it back home too. (Or at least, that is my master plan when this gift enters their lives in a couple weeks...)
  10. BONUS GIFT- NOT PICTURED: Peloton owners & SoulCycle/Flywheel mom friends- YOU. ARE. WELCOME. 



*And, since the older I get the more I revert to dressing like a disgruntled teen, I am fairly adept at figuring out gifts for the 13 and up set- so you may catch a few of those along the way. Just a heads up...

How To Start Conversation At Every Cocktail Party: A Statement Shirt


Cocktail party conversations stress me out. Especially this time of year when it feels like you are seeing the same people often, and how many times can we talk about the same subjects?!

So- in the words of the inimitable Bonnie Raitt (OMG I am quote Bonnie Raitt on my blog? You know you married a Texas when...), "Let's give them something to talk about..."

A statement shirt. Yup, it can be polarizing (case in point- my beloved Katharine Kidd neoprene sweatshirt with oversized ruffles on the sleeves, pictured above, still gets commented on by certain friends whenever the topic of either sea creatures or Cruella DeVille comes up, which oddly enough, does happen.) But, it is the ultimate fashion icebreaker- and when you feel good in what you have on (which, for the record, I feel AMAZING every time I wear the shirt above), every night is significantly more enjoyable, no? Not to mention easier- since the shirt is the THING, all you need to do is reach for your go-to pair of jeans (I am wearing this under $100 fave), a simple shoe and you are DONE. Effortlessly.

The above Katharine Kidd Arizona Sweatshirt was procured at my favorite local boutique, WEST (you can call them or email if you are interested in said top for yourself). Upon realizing just how much fun it is to take a bold fashion risk smack in the middle of holiday cocktail party season when the conversations start to lull, I went on a virtual binge shop to find other tops with the same qualities- conversation starters that pair with your favorite jeans to transform you from pajamas to party-ready in seconds.

If you want to give them (and yourself- since you know, you gotta participate in the conversations too) something to talk about- here are a few places to start:

1: Shimmering royal blue lace with structured sleeves to flatter every figure.
2: Over-the-top romantic details wrapped in a cool girl velvet package.
3: A built-in-bra peeks out and makes this structured wrap style top extra sexy but not sleazy.
4: Voluminous ruffles? Yes, please. 
5: Crisp white, yes- but this top is ANYTHING but basic. Especially from the back.
6: Sequins? Check. One Shoulder? Check. The most wearable disco-ball inspired top ever? CHECK.


Gift Guide: Be The Cool Friend Who Gives A Coffee Table Book

Cool girls give coffee table books. I have come to this conclusion after receiving several over the years, each time from a friend I would definitely put at the top of my "wow she is so cool, how can she stand to hang out with me?" list.  Coffee table books are the perfect way gift a universal decor statement, while also capturing something of note about the recipient- in other words, proving that you are both a VERY thoughtful and stylish gift giver. BAM.

You can find amazing options at every price, too. For example, this gorgeous (and quite useful, I must say!) book, written by one of my favorite bloggers Hitha On The Go, is just $14.00. And, check out this awesome find on Amazon- Bad Girls Throughout History- under $20 and eligible for Prime, score!

If these descriptions fit anyone on your list- I've got you covered with the perfect pick that will impress them instantly and guarantee that you forever hold "cool friend" status in their hearts.

I could go on, and on, and ON. But I won't- although feel free to leave a comment below if you want a more specific recommendation- I stalk these things 24/7 and love nothing more than sharing the fruits of my labor. 


Currently VERY Into Velvet...

As with most trends that involve items I remember vividly being obsessed with in the early 90's, it took me some time to warm back up to this whole velvet thing. But now that I am in it, I am IN IT. There are a few ways that I am especially embracing the lush luxe of said velvet- and a few ways that I am most definitely not. 

In the NOPE category: NO CRUSHED VELVET. I just can't.

In the YUP category: Rich jewel tones and autumn "neutrals". 

The top I am wearing was scored from Boden and in my opinion, it is the most gorgeous color.  Plus, the 3/4 length sleeves are quite flattering. (See, I have an arm thing- if I am not on my best behavior in the kitchen, the first place it shows is my arms- so this time of year especially, I'll take all the help I can get. I also own the matching pencil skirt and together, they have a very modern silhouette that brings the whole idea of a velvet dress up a notch. 

As far as accessories go- you guys, I am WAY IN TO VELVET HAIR BOWS, and this one is the perfect example- with long  Which I cringe to even type because the idea of hair bows reminds me of some YouTube stars that my 6 year old is obsessed with...However, as an alternative to a basic elastic, they are pretty damn awesome, and, tied around a low ponytail or even at the bottom of a side braid, shockingly sophisticated.

There is no material better suited to holiday party season- so add a couple velvet pieces into your life now, and feel festive all season- k? Here are 10 picks for every budget (seriously).






Free shipping is not a sale. 10% off is not a sale. Free Gift With Purchase (that I would never purchase anyway) is not a sale. An additional discount on already-reduced merchandise is CLOSE, but, especially during the holiday season, still- NOT A SALE.

A sale is a significant, makes-you-do-a-double-take discount on things you would buy anyway.

Here are significant sales on stuff I want (and assume you want too, since, ya know, we are simpatico like that)- either for myself or as gifts. So, today, while my husband is in full Thanksgiving Prep mode (he does the cooking, and he loves it so much that who would I be to take that joy away from him?), I will be furiously shopping these SIGNIFICANT sales- and probably going back for a second round of cart filling between bites of pecan pie. (Hey, I am nothing if not honest...)

WILDFOX: 40% Off Full-Priced Merchandise with code ALLSMILES
MUST BUYS: Altituded Sweater / Arcade Sweatshirt / Ooh La La Ringer Tee

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Sam Edelman: 30% Off with code SAMSGIVING
MUST BUYS: Blue Ankle Boot / Velvet Pom Pom Pump / Kids Fur Sneaker

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Ann Taylor: 50% Off with code THANKFUL
MUST BUYS: Tulle Skirt / Stars Beanie Hat / Cashmere Sweater

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