Valentine’s Heart Hair Tutorial

Sweet and simple Valentine's Day heart hair tutorial for your little girl

When I posted a few months back about time saving hairstyles for girls, a couple of people commented that they would have liked to see me include a video tutorial or do some hair tutorials in the future.  If you saw my teaser on Monday, I mentioned that I wanted to try and do more videos this year and that I would be posting one later this week.  Well, that day is here my friends!  Today you will get to see my very first video tutorial EVER.  It literally took me all week to put together because I had to learn an entirely new software, as well as just trying not to be overly critical at my beginner (read: nonexistent) skills at filming and video editing.  But I put a lot of heart (pun intended) into this and I hope you love it!

This post contains affiliate links which if you click on it and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

As I was trying to decide what hairstyle to do, I remembered one that I did on my daughter a couple of years ago for Valentine’s Day that was simple and sweet.  I’ve seen a lot of heart hair tutorials out there and they are all really cute, but unfortunately, they were also a little complicated or time consuming.  One of the ways I save time doing my daughter’s hair is by not over-complicating things.  You’ll find that this hairstyle doesn’t take much time at all and you end up with a fun, festive hairstyle.  I also love that you can do this hairstyle on pretty much any type of hair.

To do this hairstyle, I recommend having the following items on hand:

*NOTE: Knowing how to do a basic braid is also helpful, as that is how the heart is made at the back of the head.

To see the full tutorial, click on the link HERE or watch it below.  (Also feel free to subscribe to my channel!)

Thanks for watching and if you have any questions or run into any snags, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Let me know how you liked this tutorial and what types of videos you’d like to see in the future!

Do you have a little girl you’re going to try this hairstyle on?  If you give it a go, post a picture and tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #sunshineandmunchkins.

Conversation Heart Cookies

Make these darling (and delicious) conversation heart cookies for Valentines and share the love!

Growing up, one of my favorite candies to receive during Valentines were those little conversation hearts.  You know the ones.  They have all sorts of silly phrases or words on them and the only color that tastes good is the white.  When I was younger, my mom would buy a big bag of them so we could grab a few and put them in with our Valentine cards for our classes at school.  I was that kid who always had to sort through and find the hearts that matched the person I was giving them to.  My best friends got ones like: U R CUTE or 4EVER.  The cute boys in class or my crush got the ones that said: CALL ME or LOVE U.  (I doubt anyone actually read the hearts before they ate them, but it was still part of the fun to think that maybe they did.)  Now I’ve got a bigger, and better tasting, treat that I like to make around Valentine’s Day: Conversation Heart Cookies.

The recipe for these cookies is actually one that I shared over a year ago during Christmas time.  I called it “My FAVORITE Roll and Cut Cookies” because they are the same cookies I’ve been making for as long as I can remember and they are amazing.  They hold their shape well and aren’t brittle so they can hold up to frosting and decorating.  The frosting recipe that I use can also be found in the same recipe, along with tips for how to avoid the dough sticking to the rolling pin and recognizing the perfect frosting consistency.

Okay, so these cookies might be one of the funnest (most fun?) treats that I make.  Most of the time I make a bunch and let the kids help decorate.  But with these conversation heart cookies, I keep most of them for myself and let the kids help with only a dozen or so.

To make your own conversation heart cookies, you’ll need:

  • one batch (about 3 dozen) roll and cut cookies (recipe HERE)
  • one batch of frosting (recipe HERE)
  • food coloring (I used Neon)
  • bowls
  • red decorating gel

Before you start decorating, make sure the cookies are completely cool.  Make the frosting and divide it into bowls, depending on how many colors you want.  I chose to do four colors. 

Make these darling (and delicious) conversation heart cookies for Valentines and share the love!

Using the back of a small spoon, spread the frosting around the cookie, leaving a small border all the way around.  (See my cookie recipe for more in-depth instructions on using this frosting.)

Make these darling (and delicious) conversation heart cookies for Valentines and share the love!

The next step is important because if you don’t do it, you won’t be able to write the words on the cookies.  You have to let the frosting/icing completely dry.  This can take a few hours during the day but I usually just frost them at night, leave them out for a couple hours and then store them in an airtight container until I’m ready to do the next step.

To write the words on the cookies, I use a small tube of red decorating gel.  Just snip off the top and squeeze a little out to get a feel for how hard you need to push.  Keep a napkin or paper towel nearby to wipe the tip of the tube off to keep it clean between cookies.

Unless your cookies are really big, you’ll want to stick to one or two words or shorten the words to single letters (example: You are = U R).  I like to use the top middle part of the cookie where it dips down as my center when I am deciding where to place my words.  For example, when I write the word “sweet”, I write the first “e” in the middle and use that as my center, writing the second “e” and “t”, then going back and writing the “w” and the “s” last.  Doing it this way just keeps things more centered.  (Although let’s be honest, the words on the real candies are anything but centered.)  If you mess up a little, you can just use your (clean and dry) finger to wipe it off the cookie and start over.  This is one of the biggest reasons why you want to make sure the icing is dry.  It’s much more forgiving if you make a mistake.  In the example below you can see that I wrote “kiss” then used that word to help me center the word “me” underneath it.

Make these darling (and delicious) conversation heart cookies for Valentines and share the love!

If you’re going to be storing them, I highly recommend letting the gel set and thicken before moving them to a container.  Store them with a sheet of wax paper in between and keep them in the fridge or on the counter for up to one week.

Make these darling (and delicious) conversation heart cookies for Valentines and share the love!

Make these darling (and delicious) conversation heart cookies for Valentines and share the love!

So what do you think?  Are you excited to make your own?  I seriously just love making these at Valentines even though they do take a little longer due to the time between steps.  But when they’re finished and you give them to your kids, spouse, neighbors or friends, the look on their face will make it worth it and they will think U R CUTE. *wink*  (I couldn’t help myself.)

Make these darling (and delicious) conversation heart cookies for Valentines and share the love!

Make these darling (and delicious) conversation heart cookies for Valentines and share the love!

If you are looking for more Valentines ideas, check out The ULTIMATE All Things Valentines Round Up I put together a couple weeks ago.  You’ll find ideas for crafts, kid activities, recipes, date night and gift ideas and more!  I’m not kidding when I say there is literally something for everyone.

The ULTIMATE All Things Valentines Round Up

Do you have a favorite Valentines treat you make every year or a favorite candy you can only find during Valentines?  Share below, I’d love to hear!

The ULTIMATE All Things Valentines Round Up

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Less than two weeks ago, an idea popped into my head.  It went something along the lines of, “Holy crap!  Valentine’s Day is going to be here in a month!  I need some new ideas, yummy recipes, crafts, printables, beauty… I need all things Valentines!”  I hopped on a few Facebook groups and asked my blogging friends to submit their Valentines posts for what I hoped would be an ultimate Valentines round up.  I didn’t just want crafts or recipes.  I wanted something where I could find a ton of different ideas centered around Valentines all in one place.  And that, my friends, is how this post came into being.

When I was in first grade, I had a crush on a boy named Mikey.  Turns out, Mikey had a crush on me too.  And when Valentines Day came around and all the kids were putting cards into each others homemade boxes, I was waiting for one special card.  On the bus ride home, I shuffled through the cards and candy until I found it.  It was a Barbie Valentine that said, “You’re cool!” on the front.  But on the back it said, “Your cheeks are like roses, your eyes are like the sea, and I think you are meant for me!”  My little 7 year old heart felt like it was going to explode and I kept that card in my treasure box for the rest of the year.

I love the fun and excitement that accompanies this holiday.  I love decorating my house with hearts in every shade of pink and red and leaving love notes for my kids and husband.  I’ve heard some people criticize the idea of Valentines Day and point out that we should be doing fun, sweet, thoughtful or romantic things for those we love all year round and not let everything rest on a single day of the year.  I don’t disagree with this perspective, however, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying a little harder to show your love to those you care about on Valentines Day or the days leading up to it.

And with that in mind, I give you the ULTIMATE All Things Valentines Round Up!  You’ll find recipes, crafts, kid activities, date night ideas, printables, beauty and gift ideas from over 35 different blogs.  They are sharing their best ideas with you and I hope you find something new and fun to celebrate your Valentines Day with the ones you love.

NOTE: All links/images are used with permission from the original source.  To view the original post, click on the corresponding link below the image. (Images and links are viewed left to right, top to bottom.)

Included in this section you will find all kinds of printable valentines and printables to display in your home. 

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Don’t Burst My Bubble  |  Housewife Eclectic
Pop Goes My Heart  |  Housewife Eclectic
You Make My Heart Pop  |  Tastefully Frugal
Valentine Pick Up Lines Love Notes  |  Marriage & Family Strong
You’re A Catch  |  Tastefully Frugal
Cutie Valentine  |  Tastefully Frugal
I’m Stuck On You  |  Tastefully Frugal
Smart Cookie Valentine  |  Your Everyday Family
The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!
Harry Potter Printable Valentines  |  The Quiet Grove
Tic Tac Toe Valentine Card  |  Craftivity Designs
Mermaid Printable Valentines  |  The Quiet Grove
Super Hero Printable Valentines  |  The Quiet Grove
Valentines Candy Bar Wrapper  |  The Quiet Grove
5 Free Valentines Day Printable Cards  |  My Circus, My Monkeys
The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!
Free Valentines Printables Round Up  |  Sunshine & Munchkins
So many fun and creative ways to get your crafty on!

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Love Frame with Scrabble Tiles  |  Home Crafts by Ali
Shabby Chic Love Mason Jars  |  Tastefully Frugal
Scrapbook Paper Valentine Wreath  |  Home Crafts by Ali
Valentines Day Doilie Banner  |  Your Everyday Family
The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!
DIY Wine Cork Trivet  |  Aileen Cooks
Simple DIY Hearts Sweater  |  She Wore Stars
DIY Valentines Rag Wreath  |  Sunshine & Munchkins
Looking for some decor inspiration?  These ladies have got you covered!

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Valentines Decorating On A Budget  |  Tastefully Frugal
Kids Activities
There are so many fun ways to get the kids in on the Valentines Day celebration.  Check out the links below for activities for many ages.

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Valentines Box  |  A Beautiful Life
Valentines Day Popcorn Cones  |  Adie and Aden
Valentines Party for Kids  |  Sparkle Shiny Love

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Brain Building Valentines Activities  |  ILS Learning Corner
You Have My Heart  |  Espresso Ever After
Love Note Envelopes  |  Sunshine & Munchkins

What is Valentines without some yummy sweets?!  I’m pretty sure I need to make all of these!

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Homemade Italian Cream Soda  |  Housewife Eclectic
Sweetheart Fruit Tart  |  Your Everyday Family
Valentines Day Ombre Sweet Treat  |  Tastefully Frugal
Fun Valentines Day Kid Treats  |  Sandy a la Mode
Chocolate Nutella Croissants  |  The Quiet Grove

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Valentines Sandwich Cookies  |  Recipe for a Sweet Life
How To Make French Macarons  |  Glitter, Inc
Sugar Cut Out Cookies  |  Glitter, Inc
Egg In A Heart Valentines Day Breakfast  |  Espresso Ever After
White Chocolate Covered Oreos  |  Sunshine & Munchkins
Valentines Day Fruit Kabobs  |  A Sparkle of Genius
The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!
Valentines Day Popcorn Treat  |  Crazy Life with Littles
Get inspired with these lovely ladies and use their fashion knowledge to your advantage.

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Valentines Outfit On A Budget  |  Sparkle Shiny Love
Easy Valentines Day Manicure  |  Posh In Progress

Gift Ideas
Gifts are a thoughtful way to say you care about someone.  Find some unique ideas in the links below!

The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!

Baby Girl Valentines Gift Guide  |  Kelsey Diane Blog
Valentines Day Books for Kids  |  Kelsey Diane Blog
Why Gifts Matter On Valentines Day  |  Only Girl 4 Boyz
Valentines Gifts for Him  |  Kelsey Diane Blog

Date Night Ideas
Of course, one of the highlights of Valentines Day is the date night that comes along with it.  Whether you celebrate at home or out on the town, these ideas are sure to get you excited and in a romantic mood. *wink* 
The ULTIMATE round up of all things Valentines!
24 Ways To Show Your Spouse You Love and Care  |  A Fresh Start On A Budget
50 Inexpensive Date Ideas  |  A Fresh Start On A Budget
Phew!  Can you even believe all the great ideas packed into this post?  I hope that no matter what, you were able to find a little fun and inspiration to celebrate your Valentines Day!

Midway Ice Castles {plus a GIVEAWAY!}

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

I’ll be totally honest: winter is definitely not my favorite time of the year in terms of the weather.  I get super jealous of those of you who live in places where it’s warmer in the winter and always wish I could just hop on a plane and visit for a weekend and soak up some vitamin D.  I didn’t include ‘sunshine’ as part of my blog’s name for nothing! *wink*  That being said, there are some things about winter that I do enjoy because there isn’t any other time of year to experience it (at least not where I live).  One of these things are the Ice Castles in Midway, UT.

I received complimentary tickets to visit the Ice Castles but all opinions are 100% my own.

Ice castles.  Doesn’t that sound like something directly out of Frozen?  Even if you’re not a fan of the movie, I promise that these ice castles are breathtakingly beautiful and almost seem otherworldly.  The castles are formed using icicles that have been grown by a crew and are slowly added to the structure and replaced throughout the event.  By the time the structure is complete, the walls are 10 feet thick and about 20 feet high in some places!

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The guy who created the Ice Castles concept is actually from my home town so most years they have an event here in Utah.  However, they’ve slowly expanded over the years and are currently in Midway, UT; Lincoln, NH; Stillwater, MN; Wisconsin Dells, WI and Edmonton, AB (Canada).  So if you live near any of these places, be sure to visit because this is truly an amazing and fun family experience you will not want to miss!

My family and I visited the Ice Castles last year in Midway and our kids loved it!  We knew we wanted to go again this year so I signed up for their email list so I could get notices about when it would be open.  When it did, we got tickets right away because they tend to sell out quick!  We decided to go this last weekend as a family and invited my brother-in-law, his wife and their two kids to come with us.  My kids love spending time with their cousins!

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

When you first walk into the Ice Castles through a somewhat narrow (but tall) tunnel, it literally makes you stop and just take a look around.  It is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.  The walls are so high and the ice is a beautiful blue color.  If you look up through any of the tunnels, you will see hundreds of icicles above you.  (Don’t worry, they won’t fall!)  We went in the middle of the day.  The sun was shining and it was surprisingly warm, which was great because then our kids could enjoy the time there.  But they are also open until later on at night and if you go then, they have brightly colored lights that are inside the ice walls!

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

My kids’ favorite areas were the fountains, kid-sized ice slides and the ice benches.  They also have an ice slide for bigger kids and adults, but be aware that they don’t allow lap riders or doubles.  My brother-in-law’s family went down the slide but our kids were too little.  It looked like so much fun and everyone who rode it had a smile on their face.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

As far as what to wear and bring, I definitely recommend dressing your kids in snow pants, boots and gloves at the very least.  The ground is uneven due to the ice and snow and came up to my ankles in some places.  You won’t want to bring any strollers or wheelchairs because of this.  I saw some families with small children bring sleds to pull their kids around on which I thought was a great idea.  Also make sure to bring a camera because the opportunities for pictures are plentiful.  There are so many little alcoves and tunnels and towers to take pictures of and in front of that you’ll be sorry if you miss it.  I’d be cautious about bringing any super nice cameras though (refer to the comment about uneven ground).

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

If you’ve wanted to visit the Ice Castles, but haven’t been sure it’s worth the drive, take my word for it that you and your family will love it.  You can check out ticket prices, hours, directions and more on their official website by clicking HERE.

Also, I’m super excited to be able to do a giveaway for 4 tickets to visit the Midway Ice Castles courtesy of the Ice Castles!  These tickets will cover the entire cost of 4 tickets no matter the price, day or time you go.  Please note that this giveaway is for the Ice Castles in Midway, Utah so please enter only if you  are able to use them at this location.

The Ice Castles in Midway, UT are breathtaking and absolutely incredible to see in person!  Read more about how to plan your visit.

To enter:

  • Follow Sunshine & Munchkins on Pinterest (required)
  • Visit Sunshine & Munchkins page on Facebook (required)
  • Follow Sunshine & Munchkins on Instagram (extra entry)
  • Leave a blog comment below (extra entry)

The giveaway will be open from today, January 4, 2017 to Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 12am MST.  The winner will be announced on Facebook on Wednesday, January 11.  Good luck!

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First Annual Gingerbread House Competition

Christmas is in full swing here at my house.  We started our countdown to Christmas with the kids unwrapping a book each night for us to read before bedtime, as well as our 25 Days of Christ.  We all look forward to the time spent together each night sharing in the fun and excitement of the holiday, while also remembering the reason for the season.

I’ve always been a huge advocate for traditions.  In college, I did a semester project on traditions where I had to put together a class and then teach it, complete with feedback from the people who attended.  It hardly even felt like a project because it is something I love so much!  Creating traditions in connection with a holiday is a great way to help family bond together over shared experiences.  It gives meaning and enhances our enjoyment of the holiday.  I’ve teamed up with At Home (who has also gracious sponsored this post) to talk about Christmas traditions and #MyReason for incorporating them into our holiday.

This post contains affiliate links which if you click on and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

As I’ve considered what new traditions I want to incorporate into our family Christmas celebration, I decided that my kids were old enough to decorate their own gingerbread “person”.  Each kid got their own giant sized gingerbread person, 3 colors of frosting and some candy to decorate with.  My son, who is turning 3 in March, needed a little help from dad, but my almost 5 year old daughter totally took control over her decorating and needed no help from me.  The kids ate at least half the candy while the other half ended up on their gingerbread person.

My favorite thing my daughter said when I asked her about the yellow Nerds: “It’s corn.  They just got back from the pumpkin patch.  The gingerbread pumpkin patch where they played in the corn pit.” Haha!  I love how creative kids are.  Both kids were extremely proud of their creations and loved the whole activity.  We’ll definitely be doing this again next year!

My husband and I decided to take it to another level and decorate gingerbread houses.  We put the kids to bed, set up our gingerbread house decorating stations and pulled my laptop over to the table where we turned on Pitch Perfect and laughed ourselves silly!  We did cheat a little bit and put the frosting in these cool frosting decorators to make it easier to control (see fourth picture in series below).

It was so fun to relax and do something together.  Although, maybe relax isn’t the best word to use.  Our decorating turned into a competition, complete with smack talk.  We spent the full hour and 52 minutes and then some working on our houses and evaluating before adding more.

And this is where you come in!  We want to know which gingerbread house YOU like better.  The prize for the winner is yet to be determined, but it’s probably something along the lines of not having to do the dishes for a week and nightly shoulder rubs.  I told my husband I was totally going to win but he’s giving me a run for my money!

The top picture is Contestant A and the bottom picture is Contestant B.  You can vote for your favorite and I’ll announce who won between my husband and I next week on Facebook.  (Come on friends!  I’m counting on you to help me win this!  I really want to hand over dish duty for a week!  *me sending positive brain waves*)

Which gingerbread house do you like better?


B free polls

In addition to voting for your favorite gingerbread house, you can also enter a giveaway below for $100 gift card to At Home!  Each entry is worth 1 point.  The giveaway ends Tuesday, December 13 at midnight CST.

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Lastly, I want to invite you to check out the amazing posts of these 8 other bloggers who are also sharing about their own Christmas traditions.  You are guaranteed to find tons of great inspiration and maybe even want to incorporate a new tradition or two this holiday season!

Simplifying the Season

At the beginning of this month, we had a lesson at church about the trio of holidays–Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years–and talked at length about how they are each related to each other and why celebrating them together can actually enhance our enjoyment of the holiday season.  I hadn’t really thought about it in this way before but haven’t been able to get it out of my head.

Thanksgiving sets things up for us with our focus on gratitude and being thankful for what we’ve been blessed with in our lives.  I wrote a post about this at the beginning of the month just a couple of days before we had the lesson in church.  Someone made a comment during our lesson that when we show gratitude to God for our blessings, we receive a fullness of the blessing that we wouldn’t receive otherwise.  I think showing gratitude really grounds us.  As a family, we work together and rely on each other to grow and learn.  Last year, we started a couple of traditions that I really love and helps us get into an attitude of gratitude. 

After Thanksgiving comes Christmas.  I love that we have just been through a season of gratitude and that carries us into Christmas and a celebration of the birth of Christ.  We have a handful of traditions surrounding this holiday that I love and really help set the tone for the month of December.  Helping our children understand the reason for the season is one of our main focuses during the holiday.  We do our best to simplify our activities so we don’t become overwhelmed to the point that the magic and spirit of Christmas is lost.

Then comes the New Year when many of us make goals and promises to ourselves that we will try to improve in some way.  It is both a literal and symbolic chance for new beginnings.  We’ve just finished seasons of thanksgiving and celebrating Christ and I am often filled with feelings of hope and desire to do better.  I’ve found that it is often the simple changes I make in my life that make the biggest difference.

This holiday season, I’m teaming up with Justine from Little Dove and other talented bloggers to introduce the Simplifying the Season series.  The series will go from 11/21 to 12/26.  Each week there will be a post on Little Dove in this series: The Great Christmas Round Up (11/29), Focus on Family (12/5), Focus on Traditions (12/12), Focus on the Savior (12/19) and #SimplifyingTheSeason Link-Up Party (12/26).

If you’d like to participate in this series, it’s as simple as sharing how you are going to refocus and simply.  As Justine says on her blog:

“Share it on your blog, share it on your social media, just share it!  Maybe you have some tips about how to stay calm with holiday guests, maybe you have a family tradition you want to share that helps you focus on family time, whatever it is I want to know how it helps you with simplifying the season!  This should not be something that adds yet another thing to your holidays, just something to help you enhance them, helps to refocus them on what truly matters to you and your family this season.”

Be sure to use the hashtag #SimplifyingTheSeason and then link-up the week after Christmas.  Justine will be picking her favorite posts that she feels best exemplify the spirit of simplifying this holiday season to send a special gift to!

I encourage each of you to simplify and refocus during this season.  One of my favorite decorations I put up this time of year says “Simplify Christmas, Celebrate Christ”.  I truly believe that if we put even just a little bit of time and effort into doing this, we will be filled with the Christmas spirit.  Our burdens will feel lighter.  We will feel a stronger desire to help and serve others.  I love the magical feeling that accompanies this time of year and wish it could last all year round.

What are your favorite ways to simplify during the holidays?

Gift Guide: Women

Fun, out of the box gift guide for women!

Last year around this time, I did a couple of pretty extensive gift guides: one for parents/grandparents and one for men.  But I didn’t quite have time to put together one for women.  As a woman, you might think that I would have a pretty good idea of what women want when it comes to gifts, but to be completely honest, I usually have a really hard time telling my husband (or anyone else) what I want for Christmas or my birthday.  Am I the only one with this problem?

So, I turned to my friends and asked them what they wanted and I have to say that I agree with most of these!  My hope with this list is that you’ll be able to give a gift that’s a little outside the box.  Whether you are buying for you mother, mother-in-law, sister, daughter, friend or spouse, there are some great choices here.  I’ve divided it up into categories the following categories: beauty, little luxuries, services, experiences and creative.

This post contains affiliate links which if you click on a make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Manicure/Pedicure: This is an awesome option for almost all ages.  You could turn this into a group thing with friends or family members or even a mother-daughter(s) date.  There are a lot of deals on Groupon and other deal sites.

Bath Bombs: I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually tried a bath bomb before but I hear they are amazing!  If the woman you are giving a gift to loves relaxing in the bath, then this is a good option.

Spa Voucher: Women love to be pampered and spas are a great place to be pampered.  You could even take this gift a step further and schedule it out for them so they don’t have to remember to set the appointment themselves.  Check out Groupon for local deals.

All Inclusive Photo Shoot: Women also love to feel pretty.  Consider an all inclusive photo shoot where they get their make up and hair done and then have some nice pictures taken of them.

A Relaxing Night In: This gift will look different to different women, so think about how your giftee likes to relax at home.  This could mean a nice bubble bath (with a bath bomb!) and reading a book.  It might be a girly movie.  For me, I love having a stretch of time where I can work on crafts uninterrupted for a few hours while my husband watches the kids.

Jewelry: This is a great gift because it’s so flexible depending on who you’re giving it to and their personal taste.  For grandmothers, it might be a necklace, bracelet or keychain with their grandkids names on it.  Same thing for mothers and the names of their children.  You could look into designing a custom piece and getting it specially made.

Little Luxuries
A Nap: When my friend suggested this one, I laughed out loud because it’s so true!  Getting time to take a nap is one of the best gifts you can give a mother.  As a husband, maybe you can commit to watching the kids each Sunday so your wife can take a nap.  If you are an older child, you could entertain your younger siblings for an hour while your mom takes an uninterrupted nap.  It might sound a little silly at first, but sleep is a wonderful gift.

Pretty Office Supplies: There is something about having pretty office supplies that just make work a little more enjoyable.  Sometimes women worry so much about being practical that they don’t want to spend the extra dollar or two for something basic like a notebook or pen.  Instead of plain manila folders, get ones with a pattern or uplifting words.

Candles: Mmmm…have you ever walked into a room and smelled something that just made you smile?  Candles are another one of those “little luxuries” that are nice to have around.

Fun Planner: For years, I’ve used a basic planner to keep track of my daily tasks, appointments and activities.  It might have a cute cover but the inside is simple and not much to look at.  When I attended Pinners Conference at the beginning of this month, I attended a class on The Happy Planner.  It is basically a planner that you can use for planning (obviously) but also to commemorate things, almost like a scrapbook.  I love to craft, but don’t always have the time do it.  This planner is both pretty and practical, which I love.

Maid Service: Friends, this is seriously one of the best gift ideas ever.  As a stay-at-home mom, I spend a lot of time cleaning and straightening and it feels like I’m never done.  Plus, there are those tasks that I just don’t like to do so I avoid them until they absolutely have to be done.  This is where the gift of maid service comes in, because you can just pay someone to do those things for you, while you do something else you’d much rather do.

Babysitting: Almost every year for my birthday, my mom gives me a restaurant gift card and a promise of babysitting.  If you know someone who needs a little break from their beautiful children to go on a date, run errands by themselves or go to an event or conference, then this is a perfect gift.

Gift Certificate to Try Something New: I love learning new skills but I don’t necessarily want to try and learn them by myself.  Going to a class is a great way to get exposure to something new without having to buy all the supplies or try to find the answers on the internet.  There are a ton of classes in almost every area you can think of.  Is there something your mother, wife, friend or sister has said they want to try out?  See if you can find a class for it.  Some of the classes I thought would be fun are an art class, zumba, glass blowing, ring making, kick boxing and cooking class.  Again, Groupon is a great place to find these types of classes.

A Day/Night Out: This could be a date night where you do something a little more extravagant or a girls weekend in the city.  Experiences and making memories are wonderful and lasting gifts.

Tickets to a Concert or Conference: When I went to Pinners Conference earlier this month, I was cashing in my birthday gift that I’d asked my husband for a couple of months ago.  Gifts don’t have to provide instant gratification and some of the best gifts are those where you have to build up the anticipation.

Silhouette machine, Designer Edition or any one of the kits: I’ve mentioned this many times before, but I LOVE my Silhouette Cameo machine.  I use it all the time and it’s been a great investment for me.  This is a little pricier of a gift so it would be a good group gift to give.  If the woman you’re gifting already has one, you can buy a gift card to upgrade to the Designer Edition or Designer Edition PLUS, a gift card to the Silhouette online store or even one of the many kits they have (heat transfer vinyl, vinyl, rhinestone, fabric ink, glass etching).

Journal: Having a journal to write down thoughts or feelings or lists is something I always have nearby.  You can make your own (check out my tutorial for mod podge notebooks) or buy one with a fun print or cute quote on it.  Pair it with some fun pens.

Adult Coloring Book and Markers or Pencils: I have a couple of these myself and they are so fun to be able to pull out when I just need a break or when my kids want me to color with them.  There are so many awesome ones to choose from: Harry Potter, Disney, Mandalas and the list goes on.  A nicer set of markers or colored pencils would go great with this gift.

Handlettering Workbook: Another class I attended at Pinners Conference was an introduction to handlettering.  It came with an awesome workbook that I could take home and practice my writing.  I’ve always admired pretty handwriting and so this is a really fun one.  I bought this workbook HERE and this is the marker I use HERE.

I hope you got some inspiration from this gift guide for the women in your life.  What are you favorite gifts to give and receive?