After recently completing our Holiday Gift Guide, I realized that I had a lot more to share than we had room for in our November/December issue of Toledo Area Parent. It seemed best to do a special November edition to highlight even more fun items that we are grateful for this year. From new reading material to helpful sleep tools for new parents, this guide promises to be a helpful resource for all. If you’d like a chance to win some of our past favorites, click here to enter our latest giveaway!
Gifts for Adults
Nora’s Naturals Coffee
I’ve always been a big coffee drinker. My day can’t truly begin until I’ve had a double shot of espresso from my industrial grade Gaggia Classic that my husband purchased for a song on Facebook Marketplace. Now that we are parents to a precocious eight-month-old, coffee is absolutely necessary if we want to be functional human beings. Our latest discovery is Nora’s Naturals, a Rain Forest Alliance Certified, organic coffee that offers some impressive health benefits (think antioxidants and silica to promote collagen production). We recommend the light roast blend from Malawi with cocoa and citrus notes. A+.
Life and Other Shortcomings by Corie Adjmi
This award-winning short story cycle tells the stories of 12 women with vastly different experiences, all of whom have similar discoveries about what it means to be a woman. Get ready to take a journey from New York to New Orleans and across decades with characters you’ll quickly grow to love. It’s not every day that you find a book that is both a smart indictment of the patriarchy and FUN. Find Life and Other Shortcomings on Amazon today!
Starlette Galleria Jewelry
My new favorite piece is the Bee Resilient necklace from this small company owned by a scrappy entrepreneurial mom (Olivia Starling). The company’s jewelry options are classic, well-made and affordable. The Bee Resilient necklace is very dainty, and I’ve found that it can really dress up some basic pieces in my wardrobe. Word-to-the-wise though: If you have a little one that likes to pull on necklaces (what baby doesn’t?), save it for date nights and work. The necklace is very light and delicate, so you don’t want it to get snagged by grabby baby hands!
Tools for the Sleep Deprived Parent
In my personal journey, I can’t in good conscience leave out these lifesavers: Sleep Sheep and Tranquil Turtle, both by Cloud B. Our recent transition from keeping our son, Townes, in his bedroom bassinet to a crib in his own room was made so much easier with both of these items. Sleep sheep has a few different settings (some melodies and some whitenoise), but I personally like the heartbeat and whale sounds. When I turn on the heartbeat function for naps and nighty night time, Townes has a Pavlovian response to it. Score. Sleep Sheep can be attached to your child’s crib or to a stroller, so it’s also really convenient.
Likewise, Tranquil Turtle is easy to transport. It comes equipped with ocean sounds, melodies, and – wait for it – lights that project waves onto the ceiling. My husband and I like this thing as much as Townes does. Parents take note: If you are feeling overwhelmed with life, shut yourself in a closet with Tranquil Turtle and zen out for 10 minutes. It is a meditative cure-all. Oh, it also helps your child sleep so that you can sleep.
A New Holiday Tradition
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about Elf on the Shelf. But what about The Mensch on a Bench? This Hanukkah alternative as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank features Moshe the Mensch and offers an educational and fun twist on the Christmas standy. The kids will learn how Moshe helped Judah Maccabee watch over the temple lights, which is what started the legend of the Mensch. This adorable doll includes a hardcover storybook as well. I sent it to my niece and nephew in Brooklyn so it can watch over their Menorah! I can’t wait to see how they like it once Hanukkah begins.