Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Few of Our Favorite Things: 2016 Christmas Edition

© Tom Wang | - Santa Claus sitting on beach chairs. Christmas holiday concept.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! But for many, it can be super stressful. Christmas is not all about presents (for our girls we are sticking to the "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" gift giving plan to keep it simple and not make it all about "stuff"), but it is about the spirit of giving and, let's face it, getting and giving presents is so much fun! Some folks, however, are tricky to buy for and others (like me!) get stumped and need some inspiration for ideas. For those of you who can identify with one or both of those scenarios, this post is for you. I have compiled this list of tried and true products that we LOVE and use regularly if not daily.  Another bonus? Many of these items are under $50 and won't break the bank.

If you'd like to check out last year's list, here are some more ideas for the saltiest sailors in your circle.

Micro Scooter - These Swiss-designed scooters are THE BEST. Period. Our girls rip around the marina like little pros and to see their skill and confidence develop and soar has been amazing. Micro scooters are very well constructed and super durable, but the best part is how intuitive they are. You don't "steer" by using your arms, but rather leaning your body right and left, honing large motor coordination skills. We use ours every day and they are a huge hit with the other kids around the marina - in fact I think several are getting them for Christmas as a direct result of seeing ours!

The Wagon Store Folding Sport Wagon - We. LOVE. THIS. WAGON. The twins are getting quite independent these days and no longer like to sit in their stroller to stay contained, but when we hit the beach here I don't want to lug all our gear and I still like to have a way to contain the kids. Enter: this wagon. I did a ton of research on all things "wagon" and this brand consistently had the best reviews. It is collapsible and can easily be stowed on deck or in the back of a car, and it also doubles for fun when all the marina kids pull each other around in it!

Magna-Tiles Set - We have loved these for years. When it comes to toys for our girls, we look for things that are a) quality b) educational and c) easy to store. Magna tiles fit all criteria beautifully. Our girls have spent hours upon hours creating palaces, homes, cars and creations with our set. A toy that is super engaging and brain developing? YES.

Books - One thing we do not limit on our boat is books for the kids. All three of our girls LOVE books and "reading ". Some of our favorite are the Berenstain Bears, Usborne lift the flap books, Julia Donaldson books, Tod Parr books and any book that helps drive home important lessons. I will be doing an additional post on our favorite children's books soon because reading is something that is very important to our family.

Bronwen Jewelry - I have sang this jeweler praise for years now. I absolutely LOVE her stuff and if I could afford to buy it all, I would. Her handcrafted pieces are made for active women. I wear my waterweave bracelets every single day and they still look like new despite daily swimming.  I seriously cannot stress how much I love her simple, stylish work.

Wallaroo Tahiti Fedora - I love hats and have an obscene number of them. Gotta protect the skin! I have been on the hunt for a good fedora-type sun hat for over a year and I finally found them in the Wallaroo Tahiti fedora. Super well made, doesn't loose shape, and fits like a dream. I have two, one with the turquoise band and one with a taupe band and they go with just about any outfit I own. Also great for bad hair days (of which I have many!)

SCOUT Daytripper Tote - I discovered this company last year and I am not looking back. We have SO many of the SCOUT products on our boat it was hard to narrow down what to highlight, but this tote takes the cake. I have two (blue striped and the black and white pictured) and I use them every single day. They are big enough to carry all the gear I tote around for three tots, but not so big it feels like a burden. Plus, they are waterproof and do not stain! Any spills or nastiness that gets on the bag wipes right off. There are so many different colors and styles to chose from that it will be hard to select just one!

LSpace Women's Bikini Separates - Bikinis are my weakness and I have WAY too many. But, hey, I live on a boat in an island and pretty much live in swimwear. I found this brand a few months ago and holy moly, I LOVE them. They look so good on, are very well made, and all the pieces can be mixed and matched. Super cute.

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag - I have never known Scott without this messenger bag, he has had his that long. Now that he is a bonafide businessman (albeit one that wears board shorts all day) he needed to dig this bag out as his briefcase. It goes with him everywhere and the bags are super strong, water proof and last FOREVER.

Buff Adult UV Headwear - No red necks around here! Working day in and day out in the sun means we need to protect ourselves before it gets the best of us and sometimes, sunscreen doesn't cut it. These versatile head scarves are great to keep the sun off your neck and can also be worn a bunch of different ways. They have these for both men and women and they are also great for anyone who runs, skis or does just about anything active.

Klein Canvas Zipper Tool Bags - I got Scott this set of tool bags on a whim way back in 2010 when we left on our first boat. He LOVES them. They take a real beating and have stood the test of time. Scott loves that his tools are organized and if he needs something, he just brings out one small bag instead of a huge bulky tool case. One bag holds "every day" tools (the ones we use most), another holds all his wrenches, another all the screw drivers, and so on.

O'Neill Santa Cruz Boardshort - Scott has several pairs of these and they are super comfortable, look great on, and fit well. He's very picky when it comes to how clothes fit so if the board shorts pass the Scott test, they are legit!

USB Essential Oil Ultrasonic LED Diffuser - I love diffusing essential oils in our boat for both scent and health. This little diffuser is the perfect size for our boat and runs off a USB power chord. It has a nice light option and various time settings. Add a little water, a few drops of essential oil, and your home will smell lovely!

SCOUT Hang-10 Storage Bin - I mentioned this company above and we have no fewer than five of these bins on our boat. They are foldable, super sturdy and look so much nicer than any other collapsible bin I have found. They are great for organizing toys, clothes and just about anything. Also, they are 'wipe clean' so will almost never get stained or dirty.

Cacala 100% Cotton Pestemal Turkish Towel - Yes, these are here again. We love these towels so much that it's hard to make a list of things we use and not include Turkish towels. They are thin, absorbent, quick to dry, easy to wash, take up a fraction of the space of a traditional towel and are so versatile. We use ours as bath towels, beach towels, sarongs, picnic blankets and fort-makers. They are awesome.

Sound Monkey Rugged Bluetooth Speaker - We love music and now we bring it wherever we go! This bluetooth speaker is super durable and the perfect size for on the go. It's waterproof and dustproof and has great sound - at full volume it can really get the party started!

MIRA 1 Liter Stainless Steel Coffee Pot & French Press - Many of you recall how much I love my Aeropress, and I still do love that. But these days, I drink a LOT of coffee and making one cup at a time is not efficient. I got this stainless steel model and I absolutely LOVE it. It makes one liter of delicious coffee and looks pretty on the counter to boot!

5 Piece Mini Utensil Set - Regular sized spatula sets take up a ton of room on a boat - this little set is the perfect size and I love the versatility of all the pieces. Another product that is used every single day on our boat.

Magic Bullet Express Mixing Set - I am on  a major smoothie kick these days and every day I have a vitamin and protein packed smoothie for lunch. This little mixer is what I use! We've had ours for over four years and it's still going strong! Super efficient and just the right size for one serving, the Magic Bullet is one powerful little gadget. I also use mine to make dressings, dips and salsas. Bonus is that it's super small and takes up very little space.

Copco 16-Ounce Reusable To Go Mug - Now that I am driving the girls to school three days a week, and since I rarely get to take a sip of my coffee until well after it is poured, I use this cup daily to not only keep my bev nice and warm, but also to be able to take it to go.


So there you have it! A few of our favorite things that I hope make the Holiday Season shine just a little bit brighter for you and your loved ones. Merry Christmas!


Lisa Russo said...

Good list, but I am looking for something particular and hope you can help. We are planning on cruising a catamaran for several months this spring, but outdoor seating is limited. Lots of deck space, but all hard. Small cockpit space. Thought of bean bags (have 2 kids, 10 & 13) but take up lots of space. Like cushioned mats, but would like something to sit up on as well, not lie down whole time. Hanging chairs are cool too, but not underway. Please, any suggestions?? Thank you!

Unknown said...

Are we able to send you some things?
My children read your blogs etc and want to send the girls a few bits? Xxx

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Lewistonpawn shop said...

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