2015 Gift Guide: For Preschoolers

Every year I like to pull together a few gift guides, and this year I’m starting with one of my favorite subjects: preschoolers! Sophie turned 3 years old in September and started preschool at the end of August. And man, this stage is SO much fun! I mean, there are plenty of frustrations – we have tantrums and meltdowns and all kinds of defiance happening all over the place – but it’s also just a ton of fun. We’re still going strong with manipulative play (blocks, Magna Tiles, play-doh), getting into more physical activities, and starting to really get into pretend play. So for those of you looking for some ideas for 3 and 4 year old girls (or boys) – here are a few gift ideas for preschoolers!

Gift Ideas for Preschoolers / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Clockwise from the top left:

1. A tricycle! Sophie inherited a hand-me-down tricycle from her cousins a couple of months ago and LOVES it. She wants to ride it anywhere and everywhere, even in cold weather. Balance bikes are also great gift ideas for preschoolers.

2 + 3. PJs are always a fun holiday gift, and this nightgown and set of fuzzy slippers looks super cozy!

4 + 5. Sophie has always been interested in books, but now that she’s learning her letters she’s downright obsessed. These are a few of our current favorite books – and a cozy bean bag to practice reading:

Katy and the Big Snow

Such a Little Mouse

Little Blue Truck

6. + 7. Play kitchens and dollhouses are perfect for endless hours of pretend play. And little sisters can join in on the fun! Alice loves banging the pots and pans of Sophie’s play kitchen and even acts like she’s washing her hands in the sink!

8. We have a vintage map puzzle that Sophie loves to do over and over again (with some parental assistance). This version is similar to the one we have!

9. I’m a big fan of this art easel – and the priceless works of preschooler art that come out of it!

10. Play-Doh is so fun for toddlers! You can make your own if you’re so inclined, but I’m still a fan of the store-bought version. We also bought some cookie cutters and toy rollers so that Sophie can practice rolling the dough and cutting out her favorite shapes. We also continue to love our Magna Tiles for manipulative play – and the best part is that you can just keep adding to the collection each year!

This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on these links, you’ll help support Oh So Beautiful Paper while also purchasing some wonderful gifts. I only recommend products that I truly love and trust that you’ll love, too. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays

Time seems to pass at light speed these days. Sophie started preschool at the end of August, the girls celebrated their third and first birthdays back in September, and Alice is getting ready to take her first real steps any day now. As we get closer to the holidays and the end of the year, I want to preserve and cherish our family memories and keep them from getting swept away in the daily blur. I’ve been wanting to make an annual family photo book for a while now, so I was thrilled when Mixbook reached out about trying their beautiful new Montage photo books!

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo books also make beautiful and memorable gifts for the holidays, especially for grandparents and aunts and uncles! We have the hardest time shopping for our parents, and I love the idea of making big annual family photo books each year and gifting a copy to close relatives that are always begging us for more photos of the girls.

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Instead of doing a typical family yearbook, I chose to organize our book around the girls’ birthdays. Sophie and Alice’s birthdays are just four days apart, so it made sense to use our book to chronicle Alice’s first year and Sophie’s third year. I just want to stare at these pages forever and sear the images of my girls at this stage into my memory. Our first year with Alice was such a blur; I love looking at photos of her from the very beginning when she was so teeny tiny! I can’t wait to make more books every year and look at the pictures with my girls over and over.

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I also wanted to include both professional photos taken during the year along with the candid photos from our phones and Instagram accounts. I loved how easy it was to create our Montage book by uploading photos directly from my computer and importing directly from my Instagram account. Montage also works with Facebook, Dropbox, Smugmug, Amazon, and Flickr. Once I was done uploading my photos (more than 250 of them!), the Montage software artfully arranged the photos into an album. Montage calls the process auto-magical, which is a pretty accurate description. The whole entire process was almost effortless – and I definitely didn’t have to spend hours trying to create the perfect book layout. Montage offers the ability to adjust layouts and swap out particular photos, but the original Montage-generated layout was so good that I barely had to make any changes!

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Annual Family Photo Books for the Holidays with Montage / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Montage comes in four lay-flat album sizes ranging from 6×6″ to 12×12″ (we chose the 10×10″ size), each with 20 to 100 matte printed pages, and features a gorgeous leather cover. You can even choose from a bunch of different colors and patterns for the interior pages, although I went with the clean and classic Magazine layout in white for my own Montage. I was impressed by the super fast shipping (only 4 to 6 business days!), but the holiday cut off deadline is coming up pretty soon – so get started now if you want to make your own photo book to give as holiday gifts this year!

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper, and our family photos are by the lovely ladies of Sweet Root Village

This post was created in partnership with Mixbook and the Montage book. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

2014 Gift Guide: For the Paper and Design Enthusiast

One of my favorite posts from last year’s gift guide featured ideas for aspiring designers and calligraphers. For our final holiday gift guide this year, I’m sharing some ideas for anyone who just loves great design. I realize that probably applies to anyone reading this post right now – so whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone else or just want to forward this post to your significant other – here are a few gift ideas!

2014 Gift Guide: For the Design Enthusiast by Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. Handpainted Globe by One Canoe Two for Anthropologie

2. Midori brass ruler (also available here)

3. City of Industry Correspondence Pin Set

4. Notepads from your favorite stationer – I’m a big fan of this The Social Type notepad (in hologram foil!)

5. Ban.do coffee mug

6. + 7. I love giving custom return address stamps as gifts! I’m particularly partial to these designs from Sycamore Street Press and Ladyfingers Letterpress

8. Leather card case (for carrying beautiful business cards!)

9. Three Potato Four Letters and Notes Box

2014 Gift Guide: For the Design Enthusiast by Oh So Beautiful Paper

10. Art is always a wonderful gift! You can find tons of ideas in the OSBP archives here, but right now I’m really loving the black and white Linda & Harriett prints and Minted Foil-Pressed Art – and big bonus: they both come framed!

11. With Lavender and Lace Pressed Flower iPhone Case

12. These Antiquaria Stamp Sets are great for personalizing envelopes or making your own personalized note cards

13. + 14. Stationery – because obviously! I’m a big fan of the stationery sets from Rifle Paper Co., including the Violet Floral Social Stationery Set (shown) and Monarch everyday letter writing sheets, and this Letterquette set from Moglea

15. Notebooks from your favorite stationer –I’m a big fan of the foil stamped notebooks from Sugar Paper (shown) and the city notebooks and notepads from Blackbird Letterpress

16. You really can’t go wrong with anything from the genius Emily McDowell – from her hilarious tote bags to mugs and notepads!


2014 Gift Guide: For the Cocktail Enthusiast

Next up in our holiday gift guide – a few selections for your favorite cocktail enthusiast from our resident cocktail expert!

2014 Gift Guide: For the Cocktail Enthusiast by Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. Make your bar cart beautiful with these copper bar tools: Koriko Copper-Plated Hawthorne Strainer, Copper Jigger, and Copper Shaker

2. Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails (with 500+ recipes)

3. Coco Strainer – essential for making syrups, infusions, and liqueurs at home!

4. + 11. For an adventurous cocktail enthusiast, consider a make-your-own kit! We like this Hella Bitter Make Your Own Bitters Kit and this Homemade Gin Kit

5. + 6. Hard-to-find specialty mixers like Tomr’s Tonic and Gum Syrup make wonderful gifts. We also shared some of our favorite syrups in last year’s gift guide.

7. AHeirloom Wood Cocktail Muddler – the perfect blend of modern design and functionality.

8. Scrappy’s Bitters Gift Set – a great starter kit with some really fantastic flavors (I’m partial to the lavender bitters).

9. Slow and Low Rock & Rye

10. Vintage Glassware (Okay, so we’re a bit biased, but vintage glassware really is best! Read all about selecting the right cocktail glasses here.)

And of course if you’re looking to gift someone with a favorite bottle of something, check out our How to Stock a Home Bar post for spirit and liqueur recommendations right here!

2014 Gift Guide: For An Energetic Toddler

When it comes to gift guides, I like to stick to what I know. Last year, we shared some ideas for a not-yet-walking almost toddler, but this year we have a full blown toddler (almost preschooler!) on our hands! So in case you’re looking for a gift for the energetic toddler in your life, here are a few ideas!

Holiday Gift Guide: For an Energetic Toddler by Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. Sophie loves anything that moves and the faster the better. My First Scooter is at the top of our list!

2. Sophie always wants to help with any project that requires a screwdriver or hammer. I think this Wood Toolbox would be a big hit! Land of Nod also has a really wonderful selection of colorful wood toys that are as beautiful to look at as they are fun to play with. I’m also a big fan of this rainbow Cascading Marble Drop and this Rainbow Stacker!

3. Magna Tiles (Solid Colors Set) – Sophie plays with Magna Tiles at daycare and loooooves them!

4. + 5. Strathmore Watercolor Paper and Washable Watercolors – Painting and drawing are probably two of Sophie’s favorite activities. I buy big pads of thick watercolor paper and let Sophie create her masterpieces using washable acrylic and watercolor paints (or markers and crayons depending on her mood).

6. Toy Camera

7. Reading is still pretty high on our list of favorite activities – and you can never have too many books! A few favorites: Do Not Open This Book by Adam Lerhaupt, Sleepyheads by Sandra Howatt, and Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

8. Pretend & Play Doctor Set – Yay for pretend play!

p.s. I also really love Joni’s gift guide inspired by her 4 year-old daughter. I have a feeling this is the direction we’ll be heading over the next couple of years!

Check back tomorrow for some gift ideas for your favorite cocktail enthusiast!