10 Budget-Friendly Toys Babies Will Actually Play With

Today’s post was originally a reflection of the kinds of toys that Andy enjoyed playing with during her 2nd year (12- to 23-ish-months-old currently), but with the fast-approaching holidays, it has turned into a gift guide!

These toys are great for the transition from infant to toddler and would all make great presents for a 1st birthday (or the holidays)! Only toys that Andy actually played with for longer than a few days have been included. Most of the toys will last beyond the 2nd year so they can be enjoyed much longer.

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16 Funny Holiday Gifts

Today I’m sharing a list of gifts that are sure to make your recipient chuckle. For the funny man or woman on your list, the person with a good sense of humor who’s hard to buy for, or someone who just needs a reason to smile – this list of gift ideas is the perfect place for gift’spiration.

 

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Environmentally Friendly Holiday Gifts

As you know, I’ve been on a mission lately to reduce my waste and impact on the Earth (I’m currently participating in the #icareaboutwaste challenge hosted by Sew in Love & Sustainable Wraps). That said, I’m sharing some gift ideas with you today – some to make and some to buy – your choice!

{Bonus points: wrap your gift in fabric with this tutorial}

To Buy

 1. Beeswax wraps

Beeswax wraps are a great way to replace your use of plastic wrap – use them to cover dishes, wrap cheese, contain snacks, pack a sandwich, etc.

Buy: Sustainable Wraps

 2. Wool Dryer Balls

Dryer sheets are not only wasteful, but toxic. I love my wool dryer balls and have been using them consistently for a few years.

{Click the image to read about how to use wool dryer balls and why you should}

Read more about how to use wool dryer balls here.

Buy: Woolzies seem to be very popular – and you can buy them on Amazon*.

 3. A reusable mug or water bottle

By now, everyone likely has a reusable mug or water bottle, but not everyone has invested in a high quality version that will last them for years to come. Rather than treating them to a bottle whose cheesy quote will rub off on their hands before next Christmas, pick out a glass or stainless steel mug/bottle.

Buy:

  4. Locally Made Soap

Stop by your local farmer’s market and you are bound to find a local soapmaker to support. My local favorite (and good friend!): Penny’s Naturals.

Pictured here: “Carolina Coast with real ocean water. Wadmalaw with green tea from SC’s tea plantation. Palmetto Rain made from rainwater.” – Penny’s Naturals

Buy: Shop Penny’s Naturals online here.

 5. Glass lunch container

The Hubs and I switched over to using glass containers to pack our lunches in a few years ago and they are great. This frego container* is on my wish list – the silicone sleeve is the selling point for me (the Hubs has dropped and broken one of our glass containers already and it also protects your hands from the heat of the glass).

Buy: Shop Frego containers here. {You can find more ideas in this list of Best Reusable Lunch Containers from Mindful Momma}

More gift ideas:

To Make

 1. Reusable shopping bag

Here’s an easy tutorial from Sew In Love on how to make a shopping bag from a pillowcase.

 2. Reusable sandwich/snack bags

I really like this tutorial because it doesn’t require any extra hardware/closures (no zippers, velcro, buttons, etc.) so you likely have all you need already in your stash.

Here’s a great article on how to choose food-safe fabric for your bags (also, cloth napkins from the thrift store are a great source!).

 3. A catch-all bag

Technically, this is a sock knitting project bag, but the size is super handy. I made one with oilcloth as the interior fabric to use as a wet bag for the baby. The tutorial includes an option for two fabrics on each side of the bag so it’s a great scrap buster.

I’ve made several version of this bag (including the one above!) – you can read about another one I made in this post.

 4. Gifts in a Jar

I absolutely LOVE gifts-in-a-jar! To make this gift environmentally friendly, use recycled jars (save your salsa/marinara/jelly jars, remove the labels with hot water+soap+lemon essential oil & a good scrub, then run them through the dishwasher). Buy your ingredients in bulk for extra environmentally-friendly-credit!

When reusing jars, you can paint the lids with chalkboard paint to disguise any labeling (& make the space usable for the future).

Inspiration:
For more ideas, check out my Gifts in a Jar Pinterest Board!

 5. Lotion Bars

Making your own lotion bars eliminates packaging entirely! Bonus: Make a drawstring bag (that can be reused!) for the lotion.

{Click the image to view the tutorial from Melly Sews}

Here is a tutorial from Melly Sews for lotion bars and a drawstring bag!

Looking for more DIY holiday gift ideas? Check out my guide from last year!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you use the link to make a purchase, I may receive a small compensation at no additional charge to you. 

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to collaborate with my former #WorkHubs on this Father’s Day Gift Guide! Markessce is my go-to when I need help planning manly gifts – he’s always got great advice to help me pick out something sophisticated and stylish!

So, here it is!

With father’s day quickly approaching, start planning now how you can surprise your old man with something cool and personal – argyle socks don’t count! 😉

Classics

  • No gift is complete without a handwritten card! We’re lovin’ this free printable from American Greetings:
card

[Click the picture for a link to see all of the printable Father’s Day cards]

  • Add this classic handmade bowtie from Dwyane Wade’s collection at The Tie Bar to your Dad’s wardrobe:

bowtie

 

DIY: Cook his favorite meal! 

  • Some ideas: if Dad likes heat, try Jordan’s recipe for Spicy Rainbow Rice. For a classic meal that’ll be ready in a pinch, try Jordan’s recipe for Mini Lasagnas!

Entertainment

  • For the Dad who likes to entertain around the grill, get him a new one*!

Pizza Grilling Set

  • This golf bag* has a super comfortable 4-way strap so Dad can wear it like a backpack while walking the course!

  • If he’s already got a favorite bag, this rolling cart* would be the perfect addition!

  • For an excuse to spend time with Dad, buy him a new iPad* and show him how to use apps! 🙂

DIY: Clean out the garage so he can entertain in style this summer!

Personal

A batch of Beard Oil or Shaving Cream would go great with these!

DIY: Make him a bundle of his favorite coffee or frame a picture of the kids / grandkids!

Hope you all have a great Father’s Day!!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you use the link to make a purchase, I may receive a small compensation at no additional charge to you.*