10 Uncommonly-Perfect Gifts for Gals!

Welcome back to Living My Someday, peeps! I'm so excited to be partnering with Uncommon Goods to bring you this extra-special gift guide for gals! I've been a fan of the company for quite some time, and have not only included them in my other gift guides, but also given items from their site to loved ones (like this mug, for example). As someone who takes shopping seriously, I'm always on the lookout for presents that fit the recipient, but aren't something they would purchase for themselves. In addition to an unparalleled selection of curated items, Uncommon Goods supports its employees by paying a living wage and providing healthcare, while also offering customers sustainable gifts that don't exploit our precious environment. In short, it's a company with which I am proud to support and be affiliated. 

After perusing Uncommon Goods' extensive selection of gift ideas for ladies here and here, I tackled the rather difficult task of narrowing the field to just 10. I mean, there's a lot of women in the world! Some of us love handmade jewelry, while others would be happier with a piece of art. In the end, I took a little of everything, because frankly, I'd be happy with any of the items in this guide! There's wide range of interests and price ranges feature below. I'd also like to encourage you to check out Uncommon Goods' site for even more great ideas for the important women in your life!

Uncommon Goods, gift guides, gift guides for women, gifts, shopping

1. Sky Umbrella: Even when it rains, it's always good to remember sunny skies are on the way.

2. Love Will Find A Way Personalized Art: When we first got together, my husband and I lived in two different states. It was hard, but we persevered and, 12 years later, are still reaping the rewards.

3. Mother Nestling Birds Necklace: I often—lovingly—refer to my three children as ducklings, so I couldn't resist this necklace!

4. Sac a Plat: As someone who shows her love for others through food, I was immediately drawn to this item because it helps preserve presentation. Folks eat with their eyes first, right? 
5. Bedside Smartphone Vase: I love fresh flowers and hate fumbling for my phone. Seeing this would be a wonderful sight to wake up to. 

6. Literary Scarves: There are books I adore so much that I'd like to crawl inside and surround myself with them. This scarf is the next best thing. 

7. Upcycled T-Shirt Lampshade Kit: The heady combination of quirkiness and fun contained in this item practically leapt out at me. Talk about a conversation-starter!

8. Anatomical Heart Pendant: No more cheesy red hearts, here. This is the real deal.

9. Cheese & Crackers Serving Board: We do charcuterie platters fairly often around here, but keeping the crackers orderly has always been an issue (for me, anyway. My husband has a knack for presentation.). This beautiful board makes it easy to get it right. Bonus points for being in the shape of an ampersand.

10. Personalized Family Tandem Bike Art: We recently moved to Denver, and it has inspired such profound bike envy! Unfortunately, we don't have room to store four bikes, but we can find a place for this personalized piece of bike art in the meantime. 

See anything you like? Feel free to share your favorites in the comments!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for which I was compensated; however, all thoughts are 100% my own and I stand by them. 

Hiking With Kids: The Flatirons!

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope you're week is going well, so far. Ours is a bit of whirlwind since the boys started school, yesterday (hence, this post is bit behind schedule!), but we're rolling with it and making adjustments. Mostly, it's been exciting getting to know students, teachers, and staff at the new school; their excitement has been infectious! 

We were desperately in need of a hike, so Sunday, we decided to head to Boulder to tackle one of the Flatiron trails with the kids. We didn't make it all the way to the top, but we enjoyed the journey! Hiking with kids is such a wonderful habit for all of us. It takes us out of our usual environment and reminds us there's more to life than electronics. 

I would consider this trail to be appropriate for those at a moderate level of fitness/ability. There were somewhat narrow parts on the trail, some with very steep cliffs, so remember to hold little hands tightly and keep them on the inside (opposite the precipice). I suggest wearing shoes with ankle support and good traction. 

After making our way down the mountain, the boys desperately wanted to stop at Chautauqua Park before clambering back into the car. We were happy to oblige because it is yet another gorgeous Colorado park! I highly recommend lingering before or after your hike. 

If you make your way to Boulder, do take the time to head to the Flatirons and hike with your kids. It's a great way to spend an hour or two, and marvel at creation. 

How was your weekend? If you have kids, are they back in school, yet? Let me know what you're up to in the comments below! 

Quick & Easy DIY Candles!

Happy Saturday, folks! I'm just here to drop this how-to for quick and easy DIY candles in your feed or email box! It's the perfect weekend project because it's simple, fast, cheap, and reuses containers you probably already have laying around. Huge thanks to the lovely Andrea Brooks of AndreasChoice for creating this video showing exactly how to make these DIY candles! I used some of her other ideas in my easy home decor ideas post.

To start, I used some used cans I found at my local Goodwill store. Any previously-used can will, do, just make sure you wash it thoroughly. Next, I put this inexpensive candle from Ikea in a glass jar and placed in a small pot. Then, I turned the burner up to medium heat. While waiting for the candle to melt, I measured the width and circumference of the cans and cut two strips of inexpensive scrapbook paper to size. After that, I wrapped the paper around the cans and glued it in place. 

Once the candle had melted, I carefully remove the wick with tongs and place it set it aside to cool. Using oven mitts, I removed the hot jar from the pot, and poured an equal amount of melted wax into each can. Then, I snipped the cooled wick in half and taped each piece to a chopstick. Attaching the wick to the chopstick (or anything you have that is longer/bigger than the opening of the container) and placing it on top of the can keeps the wick from sinking into the hot wax; otherwise, you won't have any way to light your candles! Once your quick and easy DIY candle has cooled and hardened, it's ready to be used!

Tip: If you're using a scented candle, take care to properly ventilate the area; otherwise, you may find yourself gasping for fresh air like Jim Halpert.

So happy to be sharing this with the SITS Girls for the Summer DIY & Recipe Link Up and the Mommy Monday Blog Hop! If you'd like to join the party, head here to get started with the SITS Girls & here for Mommy Mondays!

Five-Minute Friday: Find.

Was planning on getting this post done early, before the kids got up, but I snagged a bit of sleep instead! I generally don't do that, but in this case, it was warranted after a week or so of interrupted nights. Armed with good rest and a (relatively) quiet apartment, I'm here to participate in Five-Minute Friday with Kate Motaung and friends! 

Prompt: Find

Maya Angelou quote, butterfly, butterflies, change, beauty, achievements

While I was searching for something completely different, I found a document I hadn't laid eyes on years (it was dated May 17, 2012). In it, I had outlined my vision for our future as a family, laying bare our goals, plans. If memory serves, I'd been reading Write It Down, Make It Happen, and my intention was probably to print it out and feature it prominently somewhere I'd see it. As is so often my custom, I neglected to follow through and promptly abandoned it to the recesses of my computer

Vision Document, goals, aspirations, accomplishments

As I revisited it almost exactly three years later, I realized that we'd accomplished several of the items listed, our move to Denver being the most recent example! It was such a wonderful revelation to find because, earlier in the day, I'd been praying to God for a "win". I'd have a series of not-so-great days and just really needed something positive to cling to. As I read my own words, I was reminded of His never-ending goodness and grace. Back then, He knew the deep desires of my heart. He set all of this in motion, after all. It was the soft whisper of truth from the Holy Spirit that evening in November 2014 that set us on this beautiful, painful journey. Our eyes opened, hearts broken, and resolve strengthened, we parted with just about everything we knew, and found our true selves in the process. 

What We're Reading: August 2015

Welcome back to Living My Someday, folks! I'm so glad you're here! Today, I'm excited to be sharing the books our little family is currently enjoying during the month of August. We're pretty avid readers, so these posts are near and dear to my heart. My husband and I passionate about literacy and are humbled to be able to pass that desire on to our kiddos. Much to our delight, each of our children are just as enthusiastic about books as we are.

Below, are few of our favorites from this month. All of them can be found on Amazon (links below) or at your local bookstore. Happy reading!

books literacy reading harry potter dr. seuss dinosaurs family

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Because of all the controversy in certain Christian circles, it took me way too long to give this series a chance. I bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone last year, but couldn't find the time to get started, sadly. I held onto though, because I had the distinct feeling the opportunity would present itself. Y'all, I am so, so, SO glad I kept it! Making the choice to read it aloud as a family has given woven us together, while also helping our oldest son hone his reading (and public speaking) skills. It has also spurred many important conversations about justice, prejudice/racism, good vs. evil, friendship, loyalty, and so much more! I've got a post brewing about all the importance of this series, so keep an eye for it.

Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte
This eye-catching book practically leapt out at us from the bookshelf at Barnes & Noble a couple years ago. I fully expected the excitement to wear off, but the boys—Ike, in particular—love pulling it out and reading about all the different dinosaurs. They've even begun reading to Joy, who happily inspects (and drools on) the pictures.

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
We've had this board book since my oldest was a baby, so it is well-loved! It's such a sweet story of a baby bird's search for his mother. On his journey, he uses process of elimination to figure out who is—and is not—his mama. It's entertaining, but also encourages kids to start using their problem-solving skills.

What are you all reading right now? If you have any recommendations, don't hesitate to share them below! We're always on the hunt for more books to love!