Inside our Advent gift box.

November 29, 2015



Every year as my children grow, Gabe and I are trying really hard to be more intentional about the traditions we start with them. There were so many for me growing up that I really loved and carried with me, and now I get to pass those along to my little ones as well as start a few new ones. 

advent box

Christmas magic
advent box
 advent box // the giving manger
 Advent box // The Giving Manger

Since today is the first day of Advent (which means ” coming”…cool right?), we decided to start a new tradition of giving the kids an advent box the night before. Since Advent gives us four whole weeks to prepare for Christmas, I wrote down a bunch of ideas to encourage them to have giving hearts this season and focus on the significance of the Christmas Story.  It’s also an awesome opportunity to teach them about patience….waiting for something great.  And while my four year old can barely wait a whole 60 seconds for me to give her snack when she requests it, a whole 4 weeks is not in her realm of understanding. I keep having to remind her that no, Christmas is not tomorrow morning. I totally get her in that regard. I don’t want to really wait either and I’d rather party and celebrate now and all four weeks rather than wait for the 12 days of Christmas, but I know I need this time. I really need this time to learn from the journey part. The part of the story where there is a lot of waiting and hoping and praying for the newborn king. 

Here is what we put in the advent box:
Ornaments to decorate their little tree
Lights to string across the mantle
The Giving Manger 
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift (One of the best ways to unfold the story of Christmas. We read this and light an advent candle each night. And here is the book I am reading.)

The Giving Manger comes with the wooden creche, baby Jesus, hay pieces, and a book. For every giving good deed that they do during advent, they get to put a piece of hay in the manger to keep baby Jesus warm. This is a tradition my own mother started when I was young so it holds a lot of nostalgia for me and I was so happy to find the set.

I wasn’t sure how they would respond since there was no sweets or toys involved, but to my surprise they were a few notches above amused and just one or two notches below ecstatic. I’d call it a win.

Here are the items I wrote down for them to choose to do each day:

  • Write someone a Christmas card and put it in the mail.
  • Make your brother or sister’s bed for them in the morning.
  • Donate some coats to the homeless coat drive.
  • Make baked goods to bring to our neighbors.
  • Say Merry Christmas to someone you don’t know.
  • Make some friends at the local nursing home.
  • Hold the door open for a stranger when we are out and about.
  • Bring somebody special a Christmas tree.
  • Make something for the mailman to say thank you.
  • Buy and wrap some toys to donate or give some of their own.
  • Gather supplies for a Christmas meal to give to the food bank.
  • Make a thoughtful gift for their teachers.
  • Let someone go in line before them.

Any ideas to add to the list? We are all ears. Also, if you are of a different faith, what are your holiday traditions? I really enjoy hearing about them.

Happy Advent to those who celebrate and cheers the start of the most wonderful time of the year!

P.S. A good advent playlist and how I fought for more peace and less chaos last year.

Items featured:

My kind of Black Friday…

November 27, 2015



Winter layers

(Wearing: Similar: Coat, Boots, Scarf)

I have a phobia of long lines, malls, and pressured decisions so black friday and  I don’t mix well. So if you are like me, avoiding the hype at all costs, and shopping from the comfort of a certain cozy couch this year, here are some helpful hints. I am a big advocate of shopping small, so there are a lot of shops below I love to support as well as a few just to good to be true sales.

Everlane – Not a sale, but a really cool Black Friday Fund
Henry and Belle – 25% off sitewide
ASOS – 30% off sitewide
Gigi Pip (just launched today!) – 20% off sitewide
Nena and Co. – 30% off everything
Anthropologie – 25% off everything
Boden – 30% off + Free shipping
Albion Fit – 20% off sitewide (and we have a gift card giveaway ending tonight.
LillaP  – $30 off $125 or more
Nordstrom – up to 50% off + free shipping
J. Crew Factory – 50% off everything

Waiting on Martha – 20% off code
Moorea Seal – Up to 70% off

Huckberry – site wide deals
Steven Alan – Up to 60% off

Darling Clementine – Discount codes on site
Dream Catcher Baby – 25% off 
June and January – Up to 60% off
Native Wilds – 25% off
Shop Bitte – 15% off sitewide + free shipping  
House of Mia – 25% off sitewide

As an alternative to a gift guide this year I am sharing favorite gift ideas throughout the month on instagram. (You can check out#IHODFaveThings) I am hoping if I get all my shopping done now, I can maintain a peace filled advent season come December. 

Hope this helps!

P.S. I curated a gift basket of local artists for Anthropologie at Lenox Mall. If you stop by today you could possibly when the whole kit and caboodle.

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours.

November 27, 2015



For the beauty of the earth

For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

-F.S. Pierpoint


I have been parked in my kitchen for the past two days, but there is something grand about cooking a meal that you know is in community with your country. I will never feel deserving of each of this family that filled my very full table. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, with love from ours!

Copyright © 2015 In Honor Of Design. Theme by Maiden Sites