Thursday, October 4, 2012

Don't kill me, but.....let's talk Christmas! :-P

Yeah, yeah,'s not even Halloween yet...or Thanksgiving lol. But the commercials have already started on tv, we've been  getting toy magazines in the mail (which Raya loves to "read" and tell me what Santa can bring her haha), and so now  I"m starting to do preliminary planning for Christmas shopping lists!

Anyone else started brainstorming yet?

Last year  I  was trying to avoid any large, take up tons of space, I got the girls lots of little  games and such. Which worked great in that they just fit right inside our game closet and didn't seem to add a ton of clutter to our house, but the downside is that I think Raya got overwhelmed with the sheer number of presents to unwrap. Everything was pretty cheap so she got a ton of packages, and it just took forever to open!

So this year I'm thinking I'm going to focus on a couple large ticket items. And *everything* is going to be joint presents for Raya and Brielle. (Parents with same gender kids close in age, is this ok? I mean, at this age they don't need their own presents do they? I like the idea that everything is joint because it will help prevent some of the fighting when Raya  says "santa gave this to ME" etc. etc. Plus they like all the  same stuff anyways.)

Here is what  I'm thinking this year:

1) For sure  we need a new  kitchen set. Ours was mine from when I was 2 years old. I"m now 30. It's ready to move on to play kitchen heaven! haha. Raya wants a pink kitchen, and I want wood--not plastic. I also want a big one (tall) because Raya is already almost 40 inches  tall so she would look silly  playing at a short little kitchen set...and most of the kitchen sets are short!

So I'm thinking we'll do this one---we already have a lot of Kidkraft wooden food and it's super cute. This is supposed to be a tall/large playset, without being Pottery Barn prices (because the Pottery Barn set is what I really would like haha...but let's just say a $700 play kitchen is not on Lee's priority list ;-)

Anyone know about this Kidcraft set?

Source: via Lori on Pinterest

2.) Since Santa  will be bringing a kitchen and it won't be wrapped or anything, I  do want to get them *something* to unwarp Christmas morning. So that I think is going to be some Lalaloopsy toys. Both girls  like their  Lalaloopsy house but  they have zero furniture or anything for it...just a couple doys and trinkets. So I think I'll  get them  a couple sets to share and open from Santa....something along these lines

Source: via Alana on Pinterest

Source: via Aurora on Pinterest

3.) And now for  what  I really could  use help on. The last thing I'm thinking (either from Lee and I or from my parents maybe) is some sort of electronic learning thing. We don't have ipads or anything--I don't even have a fancy the girls really  have nothing electronic to play on. I'm so glad I don't have boys because I'm hoping to avoid the whole video game thing, since  Lee and I  aren't into that  at all, but  I do think Raya and Brielle would like some learning app type stuff to do and we could bring it along in the car or to a restaraunt and such.

So I'm thinking maybe a LeapPad 2 (the 2 just came out)

Source: via Karen on Pinterest

Anyone know anything at all about this?? (Or even the original  model?) I really  don't have a clue what it does or is, but  I'm thinking  it might be what I'm wanting. Reviews? Suggestions for something similiar? I don't want anything that  plays video games--I want it for learning apps and activities.

4.) The 4th and final  item on the girls list I think will be a real bow and arrow.  Lee  really  wants to get them a real one, not a toy  one. Whatever keeps him happy as I buy play kitchens and lalaloopsy dolls, right?! LOL ;-)

Lastly, here was Raya for preschool today

Please excuse  the  weird pose.  Hooded sweater dress  is Gap, from the Himalaya line (one of my favs!). You may remember  the fur trimmed hooded zip up sweater that Raya wore for her 2 year pictures? This is the same line. Bought used.

Bomber jacket is Target. Headband is Children's Place. Leggings Target, shoes Carters. (I had adorable  brown boots from Target picked  out, but  she decided they weren't "comfy" enough today ---whatever kid! ;-)

With the hood ;-)


  1. Sounds like a good plan for Christmas! I always do joint gifts (not all of them, but the ones that I can sense will be a problem for sharing later) so I think it's just fine as long as they both have something to open. Because let's face it... once Christmas/Easter/Birthdays are over, it all becomes community property anyway!

  2. I love the kitchen set!! I think that's perfect for both girls! I can't help out much with the LeapPad, but I know Emma has seen them before and has mentioned wanting one. =)

  3. 1) my friend has had that kitchen for a few years and it holds up well with her three kids
    2) no clue
    3) we have a first generation iPad that we use for my boys with a super cover. I thought it was a better for my family. I'd rather get free apps then pay 20 bucks for new games. Plus this way I can play on the Internet when they aren't using it
    4) my hubby and 4 year old made a bow and arrow set out of PVC pipe, string and dowels. Looks like crap but shots pretty far. It was a good bonding with daddy project

    1. Thanks for the info! Happy to hear that kitchen holds up :-)

      I guess I haven't really price compared how much more it'd be to do the ipad when you figure you get free apps. Might be worth looking into!

  4. After a LOT of research, we bought that same play kitchen for our girls TWO years ago! It still sits in our living room, they still love it and use it every morning. I'd say, GO FOR IT! :)

    1. Oh yeah, I think I remember you telling me that before now...thanks!

  5. We're getting Kyla a kitchen from Santa too. I'm going to put it in her room for awhile so she can be in there playing since she can't really go downstairs by herself yet. It will eventually go down there though. I love that wooden one, I'll have to check it out. Tyler doesn't want to spend a lot, but I really don't want a plastic one. We'll see who wins that one :)

    I don't have any good advice for you on the other stuff. But I can say that I have already made plenty of Christmas lists so you're not the only one. I've already bought a few things for Kyla's stocking. I'm going to tell our family a few ideas that they can get both kids (sand box, little basketball hoop, movies, etc).

    Love her preschool outfit from today :)

    1. Almost all of the plastic kitchens are just as much at the Kidkraft ones, so maybe you can convince Tyler :-) I think the kidkraft ones, depending on size, were in the mid $100s for price, and the plastic Step 2 kitchens etc. are right around there too. I actually don't mind the idea of plastic, but the plastic kitchens always seem to have tiny shallow fridges and such and little storage for the play kitchen toys. They have gender nuetral color kitchens in Kidkraft brand too, so that Kase doesn't have to play with pink :-P

  6. Those sound like great Christmas ideas. Both my girls wanted Lego Duplo's for Christmas so to unwrap from us they are each getting Lego Duplo's and then from Santa they are getting this wooden train set for the both of them.

    1. Raya saw a cute little pink train set the other day and wanted it the girls will love theirs!

  7. Everyone I know LOVES that kitchen set. That's what I was going to buy until I found a cheaper step 2 plastic set for $30 new down from $150... Plastic won.

    On the leap pad? I have friends that love them. But they are money pits. After you buy the system, you have to buy the games. I say - don't do it... we looked into it too, we bought Averie a "mobi go" because it was cheap and it had a keyboard. I wanted her to have something with a keyboard anyway to learn where letters were on it and give her something besides just a touch screen. But I got a really good deal on that. If I were to do it all over again? I'd either buy an ipod touch or an android tablet (like the google nexus tablet). Both of those are $199 and have hundreds of free games available -- a lot of which are educational. We did shell out some money for a few really good paid apps for her to play (around $2-3 each), but for the most part - it's all freebies. The leap pad is $100, but the games are $25 a pop for the ones in store. I think the downloaded games still cost $5-25 each too...

    Averie has my old ipod -- I got an iphone, I thought it only made sense to clear off all of my old stuff from my ipod and let her use that to play with. We were able to lock off the internet and the store and change all the settings to make it 'safe'. She gets to use it in bed... and the added bonus is that we can Skype eachother when I'm not home. Plus it's something that can grow with her more than the leap pad. I know the technology will probably be outdated by the time it matters, but oh well!

    1. Thanks! I didn't realize the games were so expensive for that thing....bummer! My husband has actually been wanting another laptop since I always hog ours lol...maybe we should look into something he can use and also share with the girls :-)

  8. Love all the ideas!!!!!!! Cute kitchen!!!!!!!
    Grama F


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