2016 Gift Guide: Preschoolers and Their Siblings

For the past few years, I’ve shared a few gift guides on subjects near and dear to my heart – and today I’m kicking off this year’s gift guide series with an installment inspired by my two girls! Sophie is 4 years old and Alice is 2 years old, so we officially have two wild and crazy little girls running around the house! Alice hadn’t yet started walking when I wrote last year’s post, so this is the first year that we’ve seen the girls both really play together and seriously compete over toys. This year, I thought I’d share some gift ideas for preschoolers along with a few ideas for toys that will encourage siblings to play together!

2016 OSBP Gift Guide: Preschoolers and Their Siblings

1. I purchased a teepee on a total whim earlier this year, and it turned out to be one of the best purchases I’ve ever made! The teepee both encourages my girls to play together and to use their imaginations. The teepee has been a bedroom, a kitchen, refuge from a sudden storm, and a hiding spot from monsters. We don’t have a lot of space in our house, but we set the teepee up in an area by our laundry closet and just fold it up and stick it in the corner after the girls go to bed at night. I actually bought this teepee from Target’s Pillowfort collection for the colors in the design (light pink, light purple, and mint green), but I love the solid bamboo poles of the Land of Nod teepees. Either way, you can’t go wrong! My girls love theirs so much and play so well together in it, I’m seriously considering getting a second one just to keep at the grandparents’ house.

2. – 4. Blocks, blocks, blocks! Sophie comes home from school every day and immediately starts building these incredible structures with her various blocks: Magna Tiles, Lego Duplos, and regular wood blocks. Alice is starting to play with blocks, too, and I’m looking forward to the two of them building all sorts of things together over the years. I’ve had my eye on these Kiva and Kapla wood blocks for a while now, but I also love the idea of slowly expanding Magna Tile and Duplo collections at birthdays and holidays over the years.

5. Ikea has been really stepping up their kid toy section lately! Have you seen their new costumes? We were just at our local Ikea this past weekend, and I’m kicking myself for not grabbing this rainbow abacus or this wood stacking game.

6. We can never get enough art supplies in this house! I carry a set of washable markers and a drawing pad with me pretty much anytime we go with the kids, and we spend lots of time drawing and creating at home – so we go through lots of drawing materials! I love these washable Faber Castell duo-tipped markers and these Crayola Pip-squeaks markers for the kids.

7. Now that Alice is a little bit older, the girls are able to play together with their pretend play toys – their toy kitchen, doctor’s kit, and now train sets! I’m seriously loving the colors and elevation in this Metro Line train set. These bigger toys are definitely an investment, but so worth it for the years of shared play.

8. + 9. Puzzles! Sophie has been really into maps this year, and I think this floor puzzle from Petit Collage looks like a lot of fun! We’re also big fans of the Melissa & Doug wood puzzles – Sophie enjoys the 48-piece puzzles, while Alice is still pretty into the chunky toddler puzzles.

10. + 11. J.Crew and the Cat & Jack collection at Target are my go-to sources for cute accessories, from purses to necklaces. This necklace even glows in the dark! And how cute is this pink watch for little girls??

12. LOVE this pink superhero cape and hat set for girls from Lovelane!

13. Sophie has officially outgrown her tricycle, which means time for a big girl bicycle! I’m loving the clean design of this bike, and it comes in pink – which Sophie will definitely like.

14. Alice doesn’t quite yet have the leg length or strength for a tricycle – not that it stops her from trying! But now that big sister is ready to move onto bigger wheels, I’m looking for something other than a wagon or push trike that would help Alice keep pace. These micro scooters are at the top of my list!

p.s. Gift ideas for 3 year olds, 2 year olds, and 15-month olds

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.

Seasonal Stationery: 2016 Hanukkah cards

Oh, the festival of lights! As a kid, I couldn’t wait to open my Hanukkah gifts. As an adult, I can’t wait for a guilt-free way to enjoy fried foods (pro-tip: if you are planning to make latkes at home, be sure to open all your windows BEFORE you start cooking). Whatever your personal motivation, sharing a joyful message with loved ones is what the holiday is really all about. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite iconography associated with the holiday including chocolate, misspellings, and the aforementioned fried foods (and yes, a few traditional icons such as dreidels and menorahs as well) to bring you a few awesome Hanukkah cards. Shauna

Seasonal Stationery: 2016 Hanukkah Cards

1. Hanukkah begins on Christmas Eve this year, so this play on a famous Christmas carol feels especially appropriate – from People I’ve Loved.

2. Really appreciating the tight registration and geometric details of this three color letterpress card from Hammerpress.

3. Egg Press celebrates the sweeter side of the holiday with a gelt-themed design.

4. If simple and elegant is more your bag, you can’t go wrong with Los Angeles-based Sugar Paper.

5. Loving this clever bird menorah (letterpressed in four colors!) from husband and wife team Fugu Fugu Press.

6. Most Hanukkah cards feature a menorah, but this folk-inspired one from Hello!Lucky is one of my favs.

7. This Lark + Raven card made me laugh out loud. Perfect for your friend who celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas!

8. Paula and Waffle, you had me at cheese latkes.

9. Speaking of latkes, a good food pun is also always a good idea (from One Canoe Two).

10. ‘However you spell it, we’ll celebrate it!’ with holographic foil! This super fun design comes courtesy of Ladyfingers Letterpress.

11. For those purists out there, this gold foil menorah from E. Frances Paper is a sure win.

Be sure to check out our previous holiday card round ups here and here!

We’ll be back soon with a few more holiday cards, New Year’s cards – oh, and a few 2017 calendars, too!

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Since we usually travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re just now getting our Christmas decorations out and getting our home into the holiday spirit. Alice still has no idea what all the fuss is really about, but Sophie is so excited to decorate! We’re getting our Christmas tree this afternoon from a fundraiser at Sophie’s school, and I’m sure we’ll spend the rest of the night stringing lights and hanging ornaments. With a two year old and four year old in the house, I finally bought a set of shatterproof ornaments and will set our breakable glass ornaments aside for a few years. I’ll be sure to share our tree on Instagram later tonight or tomorrow! But in the meantime…

Esther Clark Co. via Instagram

Image by Esther Clark Co. via #dailydoseofpaper

…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

That’s it for us this week! Have a fabulous weekend, and I’ll see you back here next week! xoxo

DC Punch Workshop!

DC area friends! Join us this Sunday for our first-ever cocktail workshop at Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia! This is something we’ve wanted to do for a super long time, and we’re so excited to talk about all things booze and holiday entertaining – and of course share some of the tips and tricks that we’ve collected over the years. Andrew, our resident cocktail guru, will be teaching everyone how to make two delicious punch recipes that are perfect for holiday entertaining: a traditional Colonial-era rum punch and a modern Tiki bowl. We love making punches for any large gathering, since you can make a huge batch ahead of time – so you know that your guests will be taken care of without having to spend all night at your bar cart.

Planter's Punch Tiki Bowl Rum Punch Recipe

Planter’s Punch

The workshop is this Sunday, December 4 from 6-8 p.m. Guests will taste both punch recipes, and everyone will go home with a bottle of Morris Kitchen Preserved Lemon Syrup and hand dip dyed recipe cards so you can make your own punch at home! We’ll also have a few of our gorgeous vintage punch bowl sets available for purchase to help dress up your holiday tables!

Space is limited to just 10 guests – so hurry over to the Red Barn Mercantile website to purchase your ticket right here! We hope to see some of you there on Sunday!

Traditional Hot Rum Punch / Photo Credit: Sweet Root Village for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Traditional Hot Rum Punch / Photo Credit: Sweet Root Village for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Traditional Hot Rum Punch / Photo Credit: Sweet Root Village for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photos by Sweet Root Village from this post a couple of years ago when we made a big batch of punch for some friends!

Purchase your punch workshop tickets right here!

Eclectic Jewel Tone Geometric Wedding Invitations

Christy from Papertree Studio worked with photographer Jen Woodruff to create these eclectic jewel tone geometric wedding invitations with copper foil printing for Jen’s offbeat mid-week (so fun!) wedding. Christie incorporated geometric lines, multiple patterns, pops of copper, and a super cool marbled envelope liner to match Jen’s unique and modern aesthetic. I’m loving all the details in this suite!

Eclectic Jewel Tone Geometric Wedding Invitations by Papertree Studio

From Christy: This past fall I was approached by a talented photographer in the industry, Jen Woodruff, to meet and discuss the vision she had for her offbeat Thursday wedding. Jen wasn’t finding anything she liked online so she decided custom was the way to go. After chatting with Jen, I had my fingers crossed that I would get to design her wedding invitations!

Eclectic Jewel Tone Geometric Wedding Invitations by Papertree Studio

Jen wanted to use rich jewel tones paired with a metallic color and wanted to incorporate different patterns throughout her invitation suite.  Jen really wanted her invitations to be unique and fun, but also high end. I couldn’t wait to get started! I began the design process with the invitation. I pulled in a very simple geometric line art drawing and decided on a rich green background with copper foil accents.

Eclectic Jewel Tone Geometric Wedding Invitations by Papertree Studio

To add an element of surprise, we put a beautiful and colorful pattern on the back to pull in more colors that were in our palette. Also pulling details from that pattern, I designed the response card and details enclosure card. Both of the pieces also had the geometric pattern on the back.

Eclectic Jewel Tone Geometric Wedding Invitations by Papertree Studio

Eclectic Jewel Tone Geometric Wedding Invitations by Papertree Studio

The invitations were printed on a heavy 130lb white linen paper. I thought a rich navy outer envelope with a cool marble patterned envelope liner would add to the eclectic mix and decided to bring in that pink jewel tone again with the response envelope. I used a copper loose weave cotton ribbon from Studio Carta to complement the copper foil in the invitation.

Eclectic Jewel Tone Geometric Wedding Invitations by Papertree Studio

Thanks Christy!

Design: Papertree Studio

Paper: Neenah

Envelopes: Soho Paper

Printer: The Chambers Group, Malvern

Ribbon: Studio Carta

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Christy Howton